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12.04.2005 Crime & Punishment

Seven Rounded Up Over Cocaine

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Accra, April 12 (Graphic) -- Two separate operations against the illegal drug trade in Ghana yielded another massive haul when seven pushers were busted over the weekend.

The seven were arrested between last Wednesday and Saturday for attempting to smuggle cocaine to various parts of Europe.

All the suspects are currently in custody. They are made up of five Ghanaians, a Nigerian and a Guinean.

The Ghanaians, who have resident permits of their respective European nations, have confessed to having reached their European destinations through the Sahara desert.

The drugs, all thumb-sized, were either swallowed or concealed in locally-made soap, popularly called “Alata Samina”. And they were uncovered around the same time another Ghanaian, Samuel Anum Borketey died after swallowing 49 pellets of cocaine wrapped in condoms.

The suspects are John James, 30; Fuseini Nuhu, 27; Mohammed Camil, 32; John Sarfo, 31, George Atta, 31; all Ghanaians; William Odion Osagiede, 35, the Nigerian, and Diallo Amadou Lamarana, 33, a Guinean.

A source at the Narcotics Control Board disclosed that James, Nuhu, Camil and Osagiede were arrested on Saturday, April 9, 2005, while Sarfo, Atta and Lamarana were arrested on April 7, 6, and 3, 2005 respectively It said John James, a native of Assin Foso and construction worker, had concealed 311 thumb-sized pellets of suspected cocaine in the “Alata Samina” when he was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport.

It said when he was asked what he had parcelled, he claimed it was “Alata Samina” and explained that it was a scarce commodity in his European base.

With regard to Fuseini Nuhu, a native of Bawku and electrician, the source said he had swallowed 42 pellets.

The source said Camil, who is from Ayigya in Kumasi and is a driver, had swallowed 50 pellets, while Osagiede, the Nigerian, had swallowed 60 pellets.

It said John Sarfo, a native of Barekese, discharged 80 pellets after his arrest and claimed that he would have been given 2,500 Euros if he had successfully delivered the parcel.

George Atta, a trader and native of Tepa, the source indicated, was a frequent traveller and had arrived in the country on April 2 and was returning on April 6 when he was arrested. He later expelled 60 pellets.

The source said Diallo Lamarana, a resident of Greece, who had concealed the drugs in his underwear, told the police that it was “juju” prepared for him by a Ghanaian for his ailing child.

According to the source, Diallo claimed that he was told by the Mallam, whom he paid ¢10 million, not to let any man, except a woman, look at it otherwise the juju would lose its potency.

The source explained that upon the insistence of officials of NACOB, the suspect was searched and 29 pellets of the drug were retrieved from him.

The source added that all the suspects attempted to negotiate with the officers who arrested them for their release so that they could pay them.

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