David Asante-Apeatu, the Director-General of the Police Criminal Investigation Department, yesterday admitted at the Justice Wood Committee investigating the East Legon cocaine bribery case that he agreed to an arrangement to give part of a seized consignment of cocaine to an informant.
He however said it was a ploy to have information about the location of the drug and dealers from the unknown male informant he spoke to on telephone.
The six member fact-finding committee is investigating allegations of bribery involving some policemen for the release of drug suspects arrested during a raid of a house at East Legon in Accra where a quantity of cocaine was seized by the Police CID.
Mr. Asante-Apeatu told the committee during cross examination that on November 24, 2005, the caller, after delivering the tip-off and making the arrangement for the sharing of the drugs with the police, mentioned to him that a woman was also involved in the deal.
"I agreed to the deal because my main aim was to know where the drugs were," he said.
After finishing with the conversation with the informant on telephone, he said he quickly informed his deputy, ACP Patrick Ampewuah, and together they organised a team led by Superintendent Edward Tabiri of the Rapid Response Unit to go to the suspect's house.
He said he, however, did not inform Supt Tabiri about any deal with regard to giving part of the seized drugs to any informant.
He noted that after dispatching the team to the house, he left for a national security meeting. While there, he said Supt. Tabiri called to inform him that the operation had been successful.
Supt. Tabiri, he said called again minutes later to tell him that a woman who claimed to be the informant was demanding for part of the seized drugs according to a prior arrangement.
“I told him to bring every piece of evidence to the headquarters,” he said.
He said he also told Supt. Tabiri that he should “manage” the lady (who he later got to know as Grace Asibi) well, since he believed she could be helpful to the police in their investigations.
He said he never saw or heard from the initial informant who he had wanted to promise a reward for the tip-off after failing to abide by the initial arrangement.
The CID head said when he returned to the office in the evening, Supt. Tabiri and the team had arrived and had off-loaded the seized items.
He recalled seeing Asibi about twice after Supt. Tabiri had taken her to see him over the issue that she was being threatened by some unknown individuals. He said, according to Asibi she suspected agents of her fugitive Venezuelan boyfriend, Gerardo Vasquez, who suspected her of being an informant to the police.
Following that, he said he ordered that Asibi be arrested and detained overnight to give signal to the agents of Vaaquez that she was rather a suspect and not an informant.
Asibi has accused Supt. Tabiri of disclosing her identity as an informant after she handed over bribe money of 200,000 dollars from Vasquez to Supt. Tabiri for the release of two other Venezuelans arrested in the raid.
She also accused ACP Ampeawuah of threatening her life after she had leaked information about the bribe to the Daily Guide newspaper
Earlier, Gina Ama Blay, Managing Editor of the Daily Guide told the committee that she had no knowledge of who allegedly threatened Asibi on telephone.
Mrs. Blay said Asibi called to inform her about the threats but never mentioned the name of the caller or Mr. Ampeawuah.
She said that Asibi who had earlier given her a story implicating some police officers in the bribe case was “hysterical” any time she called, demanding that her story be published for her boyfriend to know that she had really paid the bribe money.
Mrs. Blay said Asibi granted her an interview after her paper had published that there had been an attempt to bribe the police on that drug case, adding that Asibi alleged that she had paid the money to Supt. Tabiri.
Meanwhile, Kwabena Acheampong and Kwabena Amaning, also called Targor, both businessmen believed to have information about the missing cocaine on a vessel at Tema, appeared before the committee yesterday.
Their statements were taken and they were asked to appear today to give evidence.