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29.11.2006 General News

It Was Cocaine- Tabiri maintains

It Was Cocaine- Tabiri maintains
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Police Superintendent Edward Tabiri, the first prosecution witness in the 588-kilogram East Legon cocaine case on Wednesday maintained that the drug seized at the residence of some Venezuelans was cocaine.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr Kwablah Senanu, defence counsel, Supt. Tabiri further told the Fast Track High Court that inventory of the boxes of the substance was taken in the presence of the two Venezuelans - Joel Meija Duarte and Italo Gervasio Rosero. Joel Meija Duarte Moises, aka Joel Mella, a 35-year-old machines operator, and Italo Gervasio Rosero, alias Italio Cabeza Castillo, a 38-year-old businessman, have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime, importing 588-kilograms of narcotic drugs without lawful authority and possessing narcotic drug without lawful authority. The third Venezuelan, Vasquez Gerado Duarte David, aka Bude or Shamo, is at large.

Mr Senanu said: "I put it to you that what you took to the Police Headquarters was not known to the accused persons." Supt. Tabiri: "My Lord what I took was not fufu powder but cocaine."

He denied that when the two accused persons were arrested he provided them with two Lawyers.

He explained that after their arrest, he told Grace Asibi, girlfriend of Vasques, to look for Lawyers for the accused persons. This was done to cover her up as an informant to the Police. Supt. Tabiri admitted that when the drugs were seized they did not conduct any field test adding that the Police do not conduct field test as the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) does.

He said whenever the Police made any seizure of such substances they were forwarded to the Ghana Standards Board for tests to be conducted.

He said when Asibi arrived that East Legon House, she demanded 15 per cent share of the drugs for providing the information. When asked how the Attorney-General's Office advised that the accused persons be discharged, Supt. Tabiri said the A-G Office through Mr Eric Agbolosu, Chief State, only requested for the case docket to enable him to argue on bail applications put in by the accused persons. He said Mr Agbolosu rather advised on the docket but the Police Service registered their displeasure and took over the case. The case of the Prosecution is that on November 24, 2005, a team of detectives from the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) acting upon a tip-off that there was cocaine in house number 348 at Mepasem, near East Legon in Accra, proceeded to the house where they met Moises.

Moises was arrested and he led the Police to his upper room, where three bottles of ammonium used to turn cocaine into crack, a machine used in compressing the cocaine, 13 pieces of gloves and quantity of plastic wrappers were found.

The Prosecution said brown cellulose tapes; a filtering bottle used in filtering and sniffing cocaine; an exercise book used in recording the names of people, who had purchased and had been supplied with the drugs and two cell phones were also found.

The case has been adjourned to December 15 for continuation.