26.07.2006 Social News

The Cocaine Bribery Scandal, Dep CID Boss Named

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Ms Grace Asibi, the girlfriend of a cocaine fugitive, has made some startling disclosures before the committee investigating the East Legon Cocaine Case when it held its first public hearing in Accra on Tuesday.

Armed with tape-recorded evidence which she intended to tender, Ms Asibi named Mr Patrick Ampewuah, the Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service, and Superintendent Edward Tabiri, formerly of the Rapid Response Unit, as some of the key culprits.

She said after the bribery scandal had been exposed by the local media, she was threatened by the CID Deputy Director-General to leave the country within 12 hours or she would be killed.

She also alleged that Superintendent Tabiri collected $200,000 from her in two instalments of $170,000 and $30,000 to help to resolve the narcotic problem with some top officers of the Police Service.

The committee was set up to investigate matters relating to the loss of parcels of narcotic drugs from a vessel seized in Tema on April 27, 2006.

When Ms Asibi offered to tender the tape recording of her interaction with Mr Ampewuah in evidence, the Chairperson of the committee, Mrs Georgina Wood, requested that since Mr Ampewuah was not present, she should hold on for him to be invited to respond to the allegations.

Ms Asibi, however, tendered a tape which she said was a recording of her interaction with Mr Tabiri over the money, but because sections of the recording were not quite audible, Mrs Justice Wood requested that the committee should seek the services of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) for a proper transcription of the recordings, in the presence of the witnesses and their counsel.

Ms Asibi, who is the girlfriend of Vasquez Gerardo Duarte David, alias Bude or Shamo, a suspected drug dealer currently on the run, said Mr Ampewuah allegedly called her to ask her why she had leaked the information to an Accra- based newspaper to publish.

She claimed that Mr Ampewuah subsequently followed the query up with the 12-hour ultimatum and the threat of death. The witness alleged that Mr Ampewuah had claimed that she had been warned never to tell anyone about the money, but she breached the agreement.

She detailed the circumstances under which she came into the centre of the bribery allegations and how the money was paid.

She alleged that the police later called his boyfriend and told him that she was the one who reported to the police that he was a dealer in narcotic drugs.

She said as a result of that, Vasquez stopped calling her and the police teamed up with his secretary, whose name she mentioned as Rosita, to harass her.

Ms Asibi said even when Rosita threatened to kill her and she reported the matter to Mr Tabiri, he ignored her (Ms Asibi).

When it was the turn of Mr Tabiri to give evidence and cross-examine Ms Asibi, the media practitioners present were asked to leave because of Mr Tabiri's claim that some of the issues he would delve into bordered on national security.

The committee, however, gave the assurance that at the appropriate time, and where necessary, the media would be invited to hear some of the witnesses.

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