Chronicle intelligence has picked up firm information that the disabled suspected drug baron who goes by the name Sheriff has pulled off a spectacular disappearance act and a massive manhunt is on for him.
Greater Accra Regional Commander of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Douglas Akrofi Asiedu confirmed in an interview yesterday that the police was seriously looking for the suspect and appealed to the paper to assist the police with any information that might have been gathered on the whereabouts of the hunchback drug suspect.
The disappearance of the virtually disabled drug suspect has astonished many since other physically fit suspects linked to the same MV Benjamin cocaine saga have been nabbed and are facing trial.
Initial reports had it that Sheriff was arrested by the police and even had a legal representation. Mr. Kwame Agati, an Accra-based legal practitioner was rumoured to have been the lawyer for Sheriff but subsequent checks proved he was not.
When the lawyer was contacted yesterday morning, he first asked who Sheriff was and when he was told, he said, “My client has not given me the permission to talk to the press,” a response that could give the conviction that he might have been the counsel of the man at large.
Mr. Agati brushed aside further probing by the paper that was aimed at ascertaining whether or not he was the lawyer of Sheriff. “I said I don't want to talk to you on anything. You people should stop harassing people. I am not prepared to talk to you on anything and that should end it,” he fumed.
It was later gathered that Mr. Agati rather represented Alhaji Moro, one of the drug suspects who was arrested in Kumasi, brought to Accra and later granted what was described by the police as “police enquiry bail” under very debatable circumstances.
ACP Akrofi Asiedu further disclosed that Sheriff was never arrested by the police for him to have arranged for a lawyer.
Even though Sheriff's whereabouts is not known, the resoluteness with which President Kufuor is dealing with the drug scare has spurred on the police to give an assurance that whichever hole he hides in, he would be tracked down and pulled out.
Already, there are suggestions that the whole effort at dealing with the drug menace is a smokescreen and that it is unlikely that any of the noted suspected drug dealers would face full prosecution.
Chronicle gathered that Sheriff is the one who allegedly dealt with the three policemen who have been arrested and currently being held in James Fort prison.
The three policemen were pursuing the MV Benjamin when the parcels of cocaine were hauled from the ship by smaller boats and taken ashore. The policemen accosted the haul and just when they tried to inspect and intercept the parcels, Sheriff, who was on stand by for the parcels allegedly intervened and flashed a huge wad of dollar bills. It was $100,000.00.
The policemen looked at one another did a quick mental calculation and reckoned that it would take them 200 years to be able to save such an amount of money on their pathetic police pay and decided that, this was a far better proposition.
Around that time three fishermen on their beat had also seen the smaller boat offloading ashore and diverted their course to the venue. They witnessed the whole incident but did not know that the packages were cocaine.
To keep them quiet, the policemen offered them $10,000.00 and they took it.
The fishermen volunteered their information to the authorities following mass media reports inviting information about the affairs of MV Benjamin. They spilled the beans and leaked the information that the policemen offered them $10,000.
Chronicle learnt that the parcels were allegedly taken to the house of The Sheriff.
With the arrest of the three policemen, Chronicle has learnt that two of them have broken down their inertias and gone to the Georgina Woode Committee to provide information, which would be very useful in unravelling the whole affair.
Chronicle gathered that, Sheriff disappeared when he noticed that things were falling apart.
The Georgina Woode Committee is receiving far more information than they received during the public hearing phase of the inquiry and may come out with the real facts of the affair that may stun the public