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27.04.2004 General News

"I received C200,000 cedis for off loading purported fishes" - Witness

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Accra, April 27, GNA - A security man on Tuesday told an Accra High Court that he received 200,000 cedis as his share for assisting in off-loading purported fishes imported by the six alleged drug barons in the 588.33-kilogram cocaine case.

Kofi Tetteh, the second Prosecution Witness, who has worked for 12 years at Captains Lodge, located at Abea, near Prampram, threw the Court into laughter when he described the money as 'Kufuor's denominations. The accused persons are 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.

Tetteh, who was being led by Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, said he knew Gorman, Kamil and Herb whom he saw in December last year at the Captain's Lodge.

Witness said between Christmas and the New Year, Gorman and Kamil visited the Captain's Lodge and informed them that they would be receiving fishes from abroad.

He said three days after, Herb and one Click brought the fishes in a boat to Captain's Lodge at Prampram at 0600 hours. Tetteh said he did not see the fishes since it had been parcelled and tied up with ropes.

Witness said he and other men off-loaded the fishes into a vehicle driven by Kamil while Gorman stood at the beach near the Captain's Lodge.

The Witness said Kamil left after the car had been loaded with the consignment but returned to load the rest.

Tetteh identified the alleged boxes containing the fishes. In a cross-examination by Mr Thaddeus Sory, Counsel for Gorman, Witness denied that he was not an employee of Captain's Lodge.

When Counsel asked what happened after he and others had carried the fishes into the alleged vehicle, Witness said, the Police arrested him.

Counsel: Why were you arrested?

Witness: I was told that I assisted in off-loading the alleged fishes.

Counsel: Did you make any statement to the Police?

Witness: Yes I did. I wrote two statements to the Police but I cannot remember the dates.

Witness disagreed with Counsel that he did not often see Gorman at the Captain's Lodge, adding that Gorman and his accomplices visited the lodge very often for their meals and drinks.

Witness denied that there were other employees present when Kamil and Herb assisted in off-loading the alleged fishes. He further denied that he rather suggested to Kamil that he would hire a boat for him.

In further cross-examination by Mr Ellis Owusu-Fordwuoh, Counsel for Kamil, Witness denied seeing accused persons at the Ministry of the Interior, after he had given his statements to the Police. He agreed with Counsel that Kamil once organised a party at the Captain's Lodge.

He debunked Counsel's suggestion that Kamil never offered him any 200,000 cedis for his services.

When it got to the turn of Mr Koblah Senanu, Counsel for Herb, Witness denied that it was Herb, who brought the alleged fishes from high seas to the Captain's Lodge.

Witness said he was not aware that Herb was with his wife, who was then in labour.

Tetteh disagreed with Counsel that his evidence before the Court was an after thought.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 12, at the instance of the Prosecution because Mr Gyambiby is scheduled to travel outside on an assignment.

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