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17.02.2007 Crime & Punishment

I Received 12 Boxes Of Cocaine

By Daily Guide

- Analyst Tells Court

HEAD OF the Forensic Department of Ghana Standards Board, on Thursday, confirmed in an Accra Fast Track High Court that he received 12 boxes of cocaine from the Director-General of CID, for testing.

Led by the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Gertrude Aikins to give evidence in the Venezuelans' cocaine trial, Mr Jones Akati told the court that on January 11, 2006, the board received a request from the Director-General through Detective Inspector Frimpong of CID, in respect of a consignment meant for testing.

Mr. Akati said after the board gave them forms to fill, it went in for the 12 boxes, which were sealed, and conducted the sampling on them.

According to him, after the sampling, they field-tested the samples and the result proved positive for cocaine, a narcotic drug.

He said they further went on to determine the purity level of the boxes and it was between 79 and 98 per cent. They issued a report on these to the director on April 18, 2006.

He tendered in evidence, the report of the test, as well as a covering letter from the police on the consignment, in addition to a supplementary report on the purity levels of the boxes.

Explaining how the sample was tested, Mr. Akati told the court that 11 of the 12 boxes he received, contained 50 slabs of cocaine, while the remaining contained 38.

The analyst explained that a box which contained 21 slabs, for instance, had 42 logos, with purity level of 79.5 per cent.

He stated that not all the slabs had logos, and those which had, bore 18 assorted logos, which included the umbrella-shaped logo, Pepsi logo, KM logo, Z logo, 7and star logo etc with their purity levels as 96, 99, 62, 74.4 and 94.5 per cent, respectively.

He indicated that the logos of the slabs were used to determine the purity levels of the substances. After the tests, he said, the gross weight of the boxes was 648.4kg, whereby the weight for analysis was 535.4g, net reserved 588kg and for wrappers 57.8kg.

Finally, the board sent back the sealed boxes with the report to the director.

In a cross-examination, he said they did not exchange inventory lists with the police, because the board was not in charge of keeping the drug in custody. Rather, they only inspected the sealed boxes to be sure nobody had tampered with them.

Answering a question from Koblah Senanu, counsel for the accused persons, as to whether he could identify the sample, he said he could, because all in his charge, bore his stamp.

The accused persons, Joel Meija Duarte and Castillo Rosero were arrested in November in a house at East Legon in Accra, for possessing an alleged 588 kilogrammes of cocaine.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges of importation and possession of narcotic drugs, and have since been on remand.
The third suspect, David Vasques Duarte, alias Shamo, boyfriend of Grace Asibi, is on the run.

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