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17.03.2008 General News

Missing cocaine probe – two witnesses disappear

By The Chronicle
Missing cocaine probe – two witnesses disappear
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Two witnesses who appeared before the committee instituted by the Ministry of Interior to investigate those responsible for the disappearance of part of the 67 cartons of cocaine at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), are on the run.

The Chronicle gathered that the committee could not trace the hideout of the witnesses who are playing a vital role in the committee's bid to uncover those behind the theft and the whereabouts of the drugs.

The disappearance of the 67 cartons of cocaine which was seized from the Prampram beach has become a subject for discussion and has drawn the interest of the international community who are waiting patiently for the outcome of the committee's report.

The two witnesses were said to have confessed their involvement in the missing cocaine and testified against a certain Frimpong, who is currently in detention.

The head of the Narcotic Unit of the CID, Mr. Alphonse Adu Amankwah, who produced the witnesses has been of little help this time round, to reproduce them since the witnesses are believed to be out of Ghana.

Adu Amankwah was said to be the first security officer to detect the substituted cocaine in the exhibit room and subsequently informed his boss, the Director of CID, Mr. Adu Poku. The former CID Director and currently the Director of the Specialized Crime and Analysis of Interpol, Mr. David Asante Apeatu, who arrived in Ghana last weekend on a British Airways flight is also assisting the committee to investigate the whereabouts of the drugs.

Appeatu had been invited by the Minister to testify before the committee which has submitted its interim report to the Minister of Interior, Mr. Kwamena Bartels, where it made certain recommendations that are expected to be executed by the Ministry immediately.

The committee is expected to bring down its curtains somewhere next week as soon as the celebration of the Easter festivities ends.

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Kojo Armah in an interview with the Chronicle confirmed that the two suspects could not be traced but was hopeful that the committee would locate them.

"Yes two of them cannot be found now but I think they are still around, they will get them so I don't have any problem, every body who came to testify must be called again" he reiterated.

He continued that the holidays would prolong the committee's sittings but assured that as soon as the holiday ended they would submit the report.

Mr. Armah said the first phase of the committee's investigations had ended, and that as soon as the committee comes back from recess it would begin to execute the operational aspect of the terms of reference.

He was appreciative of the immense cooperation the committee was enjoying from al1 the witnesses who had appeared before them.
"I don't have any problem, they are cooperating very well," he concluded.

The committee has been charged to investigate the circumstances surrounding the breach of the security of the narcotics store room, the replacement of some of the substances and the extent of such replacement.

They are as wel1 required to look at any other matter incidental to the deal and recommend steps to prevent any future occurrence.

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