03.08.2006 Crime & Punishment

Four Persons Arrested After Testifying Before GWC

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Four persons, who testified before the Georgina Woode Committee (GWC) investigating the disappearance of narcotic drugs from a ship, were arrested at the end of the Wednesday's proceedings by Police Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

The four were part of the team that had allegedly met in Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye's house in May 2006 to discuss the loss of 77 parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin Vessel at Tema Port when the ship docked there on April 27, 2006.

The four, who were marched into a waiting Police vehicle as they came out of the room where the hearing took place were; Kwabena Amaning alias Tagor; Alhaji Issah Abass; Kwabena Acheampong and Kwadzo Ababio.

A little drama took place earlier, when Ababio, one of the witnesses for the day, went out to drink water and was heckled by some Police Officers who attempted to arrest him.

Mr Ababio's counsel, Mr Alfred Agyei-Mensah intervened and reported the incident to the Committee, but Ms Woode said there was little she could do to stop the arrest of the witness once he had finished testifying before it.

Ms Woode said the operation of the Police was different from that of the Committee and she could, therefore, not interfere with the work of the Police.

This was during the playing of the controversial tape recording of proceeding at the meeting between ACP Boakye and the four persons in ACP Boakye's at the public hearing of the Georgina Woode Committee.

The Committee, since it started sitting to investigate the disappearance of the cocaine from the ship, had heard of an alleged tape recording that was circulating, implicating the four in a conversation with ACP Boakye in his house, in ACP Boakye's attempt to investigate the involvement of the four in the disappearance of the drugs.

ACP Boakye had earlier testified to the Committee that he did not know the one person who recorded the discussion in his house and neither had he heard the recording from the discussion to authenticate it.

The Committee did not also disclose their source of the tape, but it is believed that the availability of the tape would help to speed up investigations and unravel those behind the disappearance of the cocaine.

The recording though not audible enough would be transcribed at Ghana Broadcasting House (GBC) for the next sitting on Thursday.

Earlier in the day Tagor, who appeared before the Committee to give his evidence in chief, denied knowledge about the disappearance of the cocaine from the ship.

Led in evidence by his counsel Mr Asante Bedietuo, Tagor stated: "I don't know anything about the missing cocaine".

Tagor also denied going to Kumasi to seek the assistance of one Alhaji Imoro Mohammed to seek audience with the Asantehene with regard to the fact that ACP Boakye was pursuing him over his involvement in the missing cocaine.

According to Tagor, the secretary to the Asantehene Mr Owusu Boateng was his close associate and, therefore, he did not need to pass through Imoro before seeing the Asantehene if he so desired.

"Moreover I am educated and I know the channels to go through if one desires audience with the Asahantehene", he told the Committee.

According to Tagor he had met with ACP Boakye in his office where he was confronted with the issue of the missing cocaine and the fact that he was spreading rumours about the involvement of ACP Boakye in the missing cocaine issue, to which he had denied any knowledge before proceeding to Kumasi.

Tagor said he went to Kumasi to visit his grandmother when Alhaji Imoro called him on his mobile phone to the effect that ACP Boakye was linking him Tagor to the disappearance of the cocaine from the ship.

Tagor said Imoro, therefore, invited him to Accra to have audience with ACP Boakye on the issue.

According to Tagor he picked up Imoro around the offices of TV3 and sent him to ACP Boakye's house.

He said when they arrived at the said meeting there were a number of people in the house including some workers doing some work on ACP Boakye's house, the driver and bodyguard of ACP Boakye.

Mr Tagor said ACP Boakye, Alhaji Abass, Kwabena Acheampong and himself took part in the meeting.

Tagor said ACP Boakye offered them drinks when they were seated, but they all turned it down.

He said the discussion still centred on the missing cocaine, "but nobody still had any clue to the missing cocaine".

According to Tagor no one left the meeting before the meeting closed and that at the end he (Tagor), Alhaji Moro and Kwabena Acheampong went to have lunch at a spot around the Spintex road.

He said he had not seen ACP Boakye since then, till he met him at the day's sitting of the Committee.

When asked about his relationship with the wife of the Asantehene, Lady Julia, Tagor said he was not related to Lady Julia in anyway except for the semblance in name.

"I am a pure Asante, while Lady Julia is an Assin and I am an only a child of my parents and, therefore, not related to her", he said.

Acheampong, described as a close associate of Tagor, who also testified before the Committee contradicted Tagor's statement of picking Alhaji Imoro from the TV3 Office area to ACP Boakye house.

Tagor had said he was in the car with Acheampong when they picked Alhaji Imoro, from around TV3. But in Acheampong's evidence, he said they met Alhaji Imoro at ACP Boakye's house, although he went to the place in Tagor's car.

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