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03.05.2007 Crime & Punishment

Cocaine Baron’s Car Had Two Form C

Detective Police Inspector Charles Adaba explained to the Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday why one of the cars belonging to the fugitive cocaine baron, Sheriff Asem Dakeh, had two Form C at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

He said Sheriff took a loan from the Unique Trust Financial Services on December 21, 2005 and used the green Toyota Land Cruiser, with registration number GT 21 W, as collateral and, therefore, transferred its ownership to the company until the loan was repaid later on May 4, 2006.

According to Inspector Adaba, during the transfer, various Form C were issued and that explained why the car had two of that form.

The Inspector was testifying under cross-examination 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.

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

Sergeant Samuel Yaw Amoah, who jumped bail, had 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.

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

The witness, who was being cross-examined by Mr Musah Ahmed, counsel for Sgt Nyarko and Lance Cpl Bondorin, had told the court that the Land Cruiser had two Form C, saying that apart from the fact that another car, a Daewoo saloon, had its registered owner being the Korean Embassy, its registration number, GW 2932 V, was found to belong to a different car, a Ssangyong.

The two cars, together with a van, were allegedly used by Sheriff to cart the cocaine from the Kpone Beach but the witness said since the van did not have a genuine registration number, the police were unable to trace it.

Inspector Adaba said the operation by the police to arrest suspected cocaine dealers at Kpone was led by Sgt Amoah, who shared the money which was given to the policemen by Sheriff by virtue of Amoah being the most senior among the team of policemen.

He denied that the accused persons did not see the cocaine being offloaded into the van at the beach and stated that they saw all that happened but closed their eyes to it and took unspecified amounts of money in dollars.

The witness agreed with counsel that he did not record in the diary of action that the accused persons refused to give their statements to him when he took over the investigations into the matter.

He declined to mention whoever gave information relating to the involvement of the accused persons in the case and also agreed with counsel that Sgt Amoah bolted from the custody of the police and so it was not true that he absconded when he was granted bail.

Furthermore, the witness agreed with counsel that as junior officers, the accused persons only followed the instructions of Sgt Amoah to do what they did during the operation to arrest suspected cocaine dealers.

In a related development, the case in which two Venezuelans, Joel Meija Moises, a machine operator, and Italo Gervasio Rosero Castillo, a businessman, are standing trial for allegedly importing 588 kilogrammes of cocaine into the country resumed yesterday.

David Duarte Vasquez, a third accomplice, is on the run.

They have pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiracy, illegal importation of narcotic drugs and possessing narcotic drugs without authority.

They were arrested in a house at East Legon, Accra, on November 24, 2005 while allegedly preparing the substance.

Chief Inspector Ernest Godfred Frimpong continued his evidence-in-chief.

Led by Ms Gertrude Aikins, the acting Director of Public Prosecutions, the witness said during the arrest of the accused persons, the police found in the East Legon house a book in which the sale of cocaine had been recorded.

He said the accused persons stated in their statement to the police that they dealt in gold and that they had come to Ghana on businesses related to gold.

Story by Stephen Sah