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12.03.2008 Crime & Punishment

COCAINE BARONS FLEE

By Daily Guide
COCAINE BARONS FLEE
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A BENCH warrant has been issued for the arrest of Alhaji Kofi Dauda, Kwasi Attah and Kofi Akuoko, three cocaine suspects who vanished into thin air after they were granted bail in a narcotics-related case.

Justice Samuel Frank Manu issued the bench warrant when the suspects failed to turn up in court for the trial to begin yesterday.

The Judge granted them bail on January 25, 2008 after they feigned illness but they went underground when they realized that the State Attorney in the matter wanted the charge sheets substituted and their bail reviewed which could lead to them being put on remand again.

The accused persons, Dauda, a businessman; Attah, a building contractor; and Akuoko, a maison, have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and possession of narcotic drugs without authority.

Nineteen slabs as well as 101 thumb-sized substances suspected to be cocaine with a total net weight of 21,262.1714 grams among other things were found in the bedroom of Dauda, the first accused person.

The facts of the matter as presented by the prosecution were that on October 3, 2007, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) personnel from the Organised Crime Unit, upon a tip-off, arrested the accused persons at House No. 9 Nuosfa Sowutuom, a suburb of Accra.

According to the prosecution, during a search in the house belonging to the first accused person, they found the white substances suspected to be cocaine in the bedrooms and arrested the suspects who claimed it was sent to them by some five Nigerian friends to be re-parceled for a fee, though they did not disclose the amount.

Other items reportedly found in the house included a red plastic bottle with the inscription “ammonia”, three Voltic plastic bottles and one plastic spirit bottle, all containing liquid suspected to be reagent used in the preparation of the cocaine, as well as four mobile phones, cash in Ghana Cedis and US Dollars.

In addition to that, the prosecution team noted that a Taita Model weighing scale, a Thunder 380 Bersa SA Pistol No 715982 with 50 rounds of ammunition and one cap gun with 61 cartridges were also found in the Sowutuom residence.

In October 2007, the white substances were forwarded to the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) for analytical examination and the result proved positive for cocaine.

They were subsequently charged with the offence after police investigations.

Prosecution said it would enforce the bond and call upon the sureties to tell the court why they should not pay the recognizance for the absconded suspects.

By Fidelia Achama

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