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13.05.2008 Crime & Punishment

Businessman jailed for posting cannabis

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Accra, May 13, GNA - A 31-year-old businessman who was apprehended after attempting to post a parcel of cannabis through UPS Express Service, a courier company in Accra, was on Tuesday sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in hard labour by the Greater Accra Regional Tribunal.
Kwasi Ntim Gyakari Boadu pleaded not guilty but the court found him guilty for attempting to export cannabis and possessing cannabis weighing 232 grammes.
Boadu failed to plead for mitigation when the court gave him the opportunity to do so but declared that he had done nothing wrong and need not plead with the court.
Prosecuting, Mr Asiamah Sampong, a Senior State Attorney, told the tribunal that at about 0900 hours on May 16, 2005 personnel of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) received a message from UPS Express Service at Osu that on May 13, 2005 someone brought a parcel to be posted to Seychelles but upon examination it was found out that the parcel contained substances suspected to be a narcotic drug.
The Senior State Attorney said based on that information, personnel of NACOB and the Ghana Police Service proceeded to Osu and asked officials of the courier company to call the owner of the parcel to come and see the officer in charge of foreign postage.
At about 1300 hours, one David Benefo approached an official of the front desk in connection with the said parcel and gave him 45,000 old cedis (GH4.50) and 50 dollars.
As soon as the official gave David the parcel, security personnel arrested him and when he was quizzed he told them that Boadu, the owner of the parcel, was waiting in a car outside.
The NACOB officials therefore escorted him to the company's gate but Boadu on seeing them sped off in a car.
The prosecution said Boadu's car was later abandoned at Tesano, near Europa Garage.
Security personnel mounted surveillance on the car and arrested one Yaw Kumi, a mechanic, who came to drive it away.
When Kumi was questioned he said it was Boadu who asked him to come for the car and park it at Europa Garage and that he was waiting at his workshop. However, Boadu disappeared when the security personnel went there.
On June 27, 2005, David and Kumi finally arrested him and handed him over to the Police. In Boadu's investigation caution statement, he admitted ownership of the parcel and indicated that he was posting drugs to one Antonio in Seychelles.
Analysis of the content of the parcel proved positive for cannabis, a narcotic drug, weighing 232 grammes.

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