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01.04.2004 General News

Fresh charges levelled against six suspected Drug Barons

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Accra April 1, GNA - The Prosecution on Thursday preferred fresh charges against six suspected Drug Barons, who smuggled 588.33 kilograms of cocaine into the country, when they made their second appearance at an Accra High Court.

Kevin Gorman, 59, American; Mohammed Ibrahim Kamil, Ghanaian; Alan Hodson 45, David Logan 43, Frank Lavelrick 43, all British and 45-year-old Sven Herb, a German have been charged with conspiracy and possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority. Gorman, Hodson and Lavelrick were additionally charged for importing narcotic drugs without licence from the Ministry of Health. Gorman was further charged for using his property for narcotic offence.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court presided over by Mr Justice F. Kusi Appiah, an Appeal Court Judge sitting on the case as an additional High Court Judge, remanded them into custody to reappear on Thursday, April 21.

At the Court's last sitting, the Prosecutor, Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, told the Court that it would like to amend the charges levelled against the accused persons. He said since the Attorney-General's Department had received additional information, it would be proper to amend the charge sheet, so that the accused persons could be charged with those additional charges.

Accordingly, the Court granted leave to enable the Prosecution to amend the charges. The case for the Prosecution was that Gorman was a Director Shareholder and Operations Manager of a shipping company called Tuna To-Go Limited based in Tema.

On January 7 2004, following intelligence report, the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the Drug Enforcement Unit (DLEU) of the Police Service raided the residence of Gorman and discovered bales and parcels of whitish substances suspected to be cocaine. The substances were concealed in a specially constructed hole or compartment in a wall in the corridor upstairs behind a large dressing mirror.

The Chief State Attorney said Gorman, Logan, Lavelrick and Hodgson, who were living in the house at the time, were confronted with the substance. During interrogation, Gorman said one Yakubu brought the bales for safekeeping for a fee of 50,000 dollars. All the accused persons were arrested except Kamil.

The Prosecution said investigations revealed that on December 30, last year, Gorman returned to Ghana from London with a lot of currencies. That evening, Kamil who was later arrested came for the money in a polythene bag. On the same night Gorman and Kamil met at Captain Beach Lodge at Prampram to await the arrival of a canoe, which was supposed to be carrying cartons of fish and food.

The canoe arrived with Herb and one Craig, now at large on board. Kamil off loaded the items into a van. The Prosecution said evidences would be led to show that Gorman supervised the off-loading of the items into the van and that accused persons engaged the services of some officials at the lodge and paid them 200,000 cedis each.

The Prosecution said evidence would be led to show that on December 31, 2003, Kamil delivered the items in two consignments at Gorman's house. Evidence would also be led to show that with the assistance of some witnesses in the case, the consignment was sent to Gorman's house where it was concealed in a special hole. The Prosecution stated that the parcels, which were forwarded to the Ghana Standard Board for examination, proved that its contents were cocaine. The Prosecution indicated that it would call six witnesses.

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