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30.01.2007 General News

Cook concludes evidence in MV Benjamin cocaine case

By myjoyonline
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James Kingsley Inkoom, the cook on board the MV Benjamin vessel that transported 77 parcels of cocaine into Ghana, on Monday concluded his evidence before the Fast Track High Court trying the case of the missing narcotic substance.

Joseph Kojo Dawson, 34, the vessel owner and five others including a Korean and two Chinese are being tried for their roles in the missing cocaine at the Tema Port.

The others are Pak Bok Sil, a Korean engineer, Isaac Arhin, 49, Phillip Bruce Arhin, 49, a mechanic and Cui Xian Li, 44, a vessel engineer and Luo Yui Xing, 49, both Chinese.

Dawson has pleaded not guilty to using his property for narcotic offences while Bok Sil pleaded not guilty to one account of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs.

Isaac Arhin, Bruce Arhin, Li and Xing have all pleaded not guilty to two counts of engaging in a prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and possessing of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

Inkoom told the court during cross-examination by Solomon Korley, counsel for Li and Xing, that the Chief Engineer on the vessel had deceived the crew into believing that they were taking the vessel on trial to Tema.

"We sailed for almost two weeks but we were still not in Tema so I asked the Chief Engineer where we were going to and he replied that we were going for engine parts."

He said he later saw a small boat that offloaded some parcels into their vessel on the high seas and added that Li, Xing, Isaac Arhin and Bruce Arhin and himself helped to pack the parcels into the hatch of the vessel.

The court presided over by Justice Annin Yeboah who is also a Court of Appeal Judge, had to adjourn proceedings to Thursday, February 1, because the prosecution could not assemble their next witnesses.

Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisah, a Senior State Attorney, prosecuting the case told the court that their next witness from the Ghana Standards Board could not come to testify adding "we do not know why the witness is not here."

The Judge then urged the prosecution to take into consideration the fact that the accused persons are still on remand and assist the court to ensure speedy trial of the case.

Culled from The Ghanaian Times

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