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25.04.2007 Crime & Punishment

Fraudulent • Vehicles Were Dubiously Registered

Fraudulent • Vehicles Were Dubiously Registered

It emerged at the Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday that the two vehicles which were used by the fugitive cocaine baron, Sheriff Asem Dakeh, at the Kpone Beach were registered at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) through dubious means.

Apart from the fact that a Daewoo saloon car which was driven by Killer, a Korean who is on the run, had its registered owner being the Korean Embassy, its registration number, GW 2932 V, was found to belong to a different car, a Ssanyoung.

Similarly, a green Toyota Land Cruiser, with registration number GT 21 W and driven by Sheriff, had two DVLA Form Cs with his photographs on them.

Those developments baffled the trial judge, Mr Justice Anin-Yeboah, a Court of Appeal judge with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, compelling him to remark thus, “We are at risk. If the name of the present owner of the car is the Korean Embassy, then why was the car which is supposed to have a diplomatic number plate in the possession of a private Ghanaian individual”?

“If the DVLA people were here they would have picked this up and looked at who did the registration,” he said.

Although the Daewoo had its owner being the Korean Embassy, a personal name on it was J.P. Park.

The fraudulent car registration came to the knowledge of the court when Detective Inspector Charles Adaba testified as the 10th witness for the prosecution in the case in which three policemen are being tried for allegedly aiding Sheriff to abscond with 2,280 kilogrammes of cocaine.

They are alleged to have received an unspecified amount in dollars from the fugitive cocaine owner.

Sergeant Samuel Yaw Amoah, who jumped bail, indicated in his statement to the police that his share of the money given by Sheriff was $3,000.

The accused persons are General Lance Corporal Dwamena Yabson, General Sergeant Daniel Nyarko, General Lance Corporal Peter Bondorin and Detective Sergeant Amoah, who is on the run.

The three have been charged with two counts of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and corruption by a public officer. They have pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Led in evidence by Mr Emmanuel Agyemang Duodu, a Principal State Attorney, Inspector Adaba said when he took over the investigations of the case, the docket, together with the two cars, was handed over to him and it was when he went to the DVLA to ascertain the owners of the cars that he found those revealing deals.

He said the photocopies of the Form C, which gave particulars of the owner were given to him and he tendered them in evidence.

The witness narrated how some fishermen had gone to report the activities of the MV Benjamin to Sgt Amoah at the Tema New Town Police Station and how the policeman mobilised other policemen, including the accused persons, to effect the arrest of the vessel but ended up taking an unspecified amount in dollars from Sheriff to let go the cocaine and him.

He said after mobilising men from the station, Sgt Amoah, who further went to the Kpone Police Station to ask for assistance in order to embark on the operation, was given Corporal Bondorin and another policeman called Sgt Asante.

Inspector Adaba said when the policemen went to the Kpone Beach, Corporal Yabson positioned Corporal Bondorin and Sgt Asante at a certain place and proceeded to the beach, together with the others and the fishermen.

He said at the beach, the policemen saw a van which had been used to cart the cocaine, the Land Cruiser being driven by Sheriff and the Daewoo also being driven by the Korean called Killer. Corporal Yabson and Sgt Nyarko went to talk with Sheriff.

“As they were talking the van was being loaded with the cocaine and so they saw what happened, just like the fishermen, after which Sgt Nyarko and Corporal Yabson called the fishermen to join them in the Land Cruiser, with the van in the lead, followed by the Daewoo,” he said.

He said when the vehicles reached where Corporal Bondorin had been positioned, the Corporal, with the intention of arresting the van, crossed Sgt Nyarko, Corporal Yabson and Sgt Amoah with a taxi when he saw them and the van carting the suspected cocaine.

But he said the other policemen convinced Corporal Bondorin and asked him to follow them in the convoy. At about that time the van and the Daewoo took a different direction, while the Land Cruiser was driven to Sheriff's residence in Tema.

The witness said while in Tema, Sgt Amoah and Corporal Yabson went inside the house and left Corporal Bondorin outside. Sheriff went out and came later to give money to the policemen and the fishermen at a different place near the oil refinery.

He said he also proceeded to the Tema New Town Police Station to ascertain whether what happened was entered in the diary of events by Sgt Amoah, saying that from the records, no entries about the complaint made by the fishermen were made or reported to any senior police officer, although the accused persons had gone to the Kpone Beach.

Hearing continues on May 2, 2007.

Story by Stephen Sah

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