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06.02.2006 Crime & Punishment

Trader jailed 18 years for attempted exportation of cocaine


Accra, Feb. 6, GNA - A 36-year old Ghanaian trader who swallowed 45 pellets of cocaine in an attempt to export them to Japan was on Monday sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment by an Accra Regional Tribunal. On January 20 last year, George Mensah Wilson concealed the drugs weighing approximately 671.4 grams in his stomach and attempted to board an Egypt Airways Flight at the Kotoka International Airport to Japan. Security personnel on duty at the airport arrested Wilson and he was put before the tribunal on September 8, 2005 charged with possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

Initially, the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge, but at the end of the trial on Monday, the three-member tribunal chaired by Mr Justice Frank Manu found him guilty and convicted him accordingly. The facts of the case as narrated to the tribunal by the Prosecution on September 8 were that on January 20, 2005 Wilson arrived at the Airport at about 1900 hours to board an Egypt Airways Flight to Japan.

The Prosecution stated that during check-in formalities, officials of the Narcotics Control Board on duty, suspected the accused person of possessing narcotics and, therefore, escorted him to the 37 Military Hospital for x-ray examination.

According to the Prosecution, the examination revealed that Wilson had some foreign substance in his stomach, and test conducted on the material proved positive for cocaine.