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28.09.2005 Crime & Punishment

Four remanded on narcotic charges

By GNA
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Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - An Accra Regional Tribunal on Wednesday remanded in prison custody four people for possessing 126 parcels of compressed dried leaves suspected to be cannabis, a narcotic drug. They were charged with possessing narcotic drugs without authority contrary to Section 2(1) of Narcotic Drug Control Enforcement and Sanctions Law 1990 PNDC Law 236.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Frank Manu, who did not take their plea, refused the accused persons bail, after their counsel, Mr Thomas Huges' submissions to secure bail for them.

Francis Kweku Aqwei, Issifu Bankana alias Alhaji, Mousa Sangare, an Ivorian National and Vincent Appiah, would reappear on October 5.

Prosecuting, Mr Fed Boamah, Assistant State Attorney, told the court that on September 16, this year a combined team from the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and military personnel stationed at Elubo in the Western Region, acting upon a tip off intercepted a Benz bus loaded with bales of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis, a narcotic drug.

He stated that the "stuff" was disguised as used clothing. The Prosecutor said when the bus was searched six bales of the leaves were found, adding Aqwei the driver and Sangare and Appiah, who were about to take delivery of the bales were arrested.

Mr Boamah said the team further conducted a search in a warehouse, believed to be the storing place for cannabis and two bales of the leaves were found. Bankana the owner of the warehouse was arrested. According to the Prosecutor, on September 19 the four accused persons together with the exhibits were forwarded to the BNI headquarters in Accra for investigation, and that a day later, they were referred to the Narcotic Control Board for further investigation.

Mr Boamah said when the bales were opened in the presence of the accused persons, seven of the bales contained 16 large parcels each, while one contained 14 large parcels which were detected to be compressed dried leaves suspected to be a narcotic drug.

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