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28.03.2007 General News

Power outage puts off cocaine trial

By myjoyonline

The trial of two persons charged with narcotic related offences was on Wednesday morning delayed because of a power outage at the Fast Track High Court in Accra.

The case originally scheduled to be heard at 9am was delayed for well over two hours because of the power outage.

The two, Kwabena Amaning alias Tagor and Alhaji Issa Abbas are standing trial for narcotic related offences. Last week, the court heard a recorded conversation allegedly involving the accused persons and police Operations Chief, Kofi Boakye after it admitted the material in evidence.

Judge Jones Dotse told the court because the lights were out, recording of proceedings was not possible and after asking for a copy of the rescheduled load shedding programme, adjourned to next Wednesday.

He said he had no choice since the recorded proceedings was crucial to the trial.

The prosecution holds that the accused were self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

In the process, the accused persons purchased, supplied, paid and credited the drugs, which they further distributed outside and within the country.

The prosecution said on April 26, 2006, a ship, MV Benjamin, anchored in Tema breakwaters with 77 parcels of cocaine. However, 76 parcels were offloaded into two canoes, which landed at the Kpone Beach in the Greater Accra Region.

The prosecution said the news of the 76 parcels got to people of the underworld and even the security agencies also had wind of it.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye invited them to a meeting in his house at Kanda in relation to the missing cocaine.

At that meeting, the accused persons voluntarily confessed to their dealings in narcotic business and even boasted openly of previous activities.

The accused in the process also confessed openly that they had purchased drugs, supplied, credited and distributed drugs outside.

The accused at ACP Kofi Boakye's house also agreed to locate the 76 parcels of cocaine, seize and share it in furtherance of their business because the quantity of cocaine brought in by the MV Benjamin was too much for one person to enjoy.

The Government set up the Georgina Wood Committee to investigate some cocaine-related cases, including the MV Benjamin case and alleged bribery of senior police officers in connection with a 588 kilos of the drug seized from some Venezuelans at East Legon in Accra.

Hearing continues on April 5, 2007