08.11.2005 General News

Tragic End Of Cocaine Men

By Graphic
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A man who had swallowed some pellets of cocaine collapsed and died when he reported at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra to seek an emergency surgery. Kwame Gyamfi, 30, first reported at a polyclinic in Accra when he suspected that some of the pellets of the drugs that he had swallowed had leaked into his body.

He, however, absconded before a doctor could be called to attend to him because he overheard a health official informing the police on phone about his confession. About four hours later, he reported at the Surgical Department of Korle-Bu and demanded an emergency surgery. Gyamfi was not lucky as he collapsed on the way to the Surgical and Medical Emergency (SME) Unit of the hospital and died moments later.

Another suspect, Frank Chuku Aguiame, 42, also swallowed 35 pellets but he was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport as he was going through departure formalities on October 26, 2005.

Briefing the Graphic on the two incidents, a source at the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) said Gyamfi, a spare parts dealer at Abossey Okai, had been on the wanted list of the Board for sometime now. It said at about 8 a.m. on October 28, 2005, information reached the board that someone had reported sick at a polyclinic in Accra and that he had confessed to have swallowed 25 pellets of cocaine. It said Gyamfi had told some of the health officials that he suspected that one of the pellets might have burst and thus, drained into his intestines and, therefore, he needed an emergency surgery.

According to the source, while the doctor on duty was being sought for to attend to Gyamfi, the suspect overheard someone informing the police. It said when the doctor got to the consulting room to attend to Gyamfi, he had absconded. It said when a team of officials from NACOB got to the scene; it was told that the suspect had escaped. The source said the team, therefore, mounted surveillance at all health institutions suspecting that Gyamfi would report to one of them for treatment. It said it was not until about 12 noon on the same day that the team at Korle-Bu got to know that the suspect had just reported there but died soon after. It said checks at the hospital indicated that the suspect reported at the third floor of the Surgical Department for treatment but was referred to the SME Unit, where all emergencies were first reported to.

The source said Gyamfi was reported to have convulsed and died on his way to the SME. It said the deceased allegedly reported to the hospital in the company of Anning de-Graft of Abeka Lapaz. The source said the doctor told the team that Anning, who himself absconded after Gyamfi died, claimed that he bought a car from the deceased. It said Anning claimed he heard Gyamfi was about to travel abroad so he called him to find out from him how he was going to pay the money. It said Anning alleged that it was after he had called Gyamfi that the deceased asked him to take him to hospital, since he was in pain.

According to the source, when a post-mortem examination was conducted on the body on November 4, 25 pellets were retrieved from his stomach, one of which had leaked. The source said the deceased had taken the drugs three days prior to his reporting sick and that he had been waiting to take more before leaving for his European destination. With regard to Chuku, the source said the suspect was domiciled in Spain and arrived in Ghana on October 19, 2005. It said the suspect claimed that he was in Ghana on a business exploratory visit when a friend of his in Lome, Joseph Eze, asked him to take the drugs to Spain for a fee of €3,000 euros. The source said Chuku was arrested while going through departure formalities at the airport. It said a further search in his bag revealed that he had concealed 7,750 Euros which he had not declared. It said the suspect was in custody pending further investigations.