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13.08.2005 Crime & Punishment

Agric Officer charged with stealing spraying machines

GNA

Asamankese (E/R), Aug. 13, GNA - An Agricultural Extension Officer In-charge of the Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise in the Kwaebibirem District of the Eastern Region in 2001/2002 has been charged with dishonestly appropriating 33 spraying machines valued at 112.6 million cedis

Alexander Quarm appearing before the Asamankese circuit court pleaded not guilty and was granted 100 million-cedi bail with one surety to re-appear on August 18.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector G. D. Bruce told the court that during 2001 and 2002, the Government embarked on mass cocoa spraying exercise and allocated 444 solo motorized spraying machines and other inputs to the Kwaebibirem District Assembly.

These were entrusted to the care of Quarm, who was responsible for the distribution of the spraying machines to the respective zonal heads for re-distribution to the spraying gangs.

After the exercise, Chief Inspector Bruce said, the Government directed that the machines should be retrieved.

Quarm could not account for 33 of the spraying machines given to him, despite repeated demands.

A report was therefore, made to the police and when arrested, he stated that he distributed the machines to the three zonal heads but without documentation.

The Zonal heads were then arrested but they denied receiving the 33 missing machines.

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