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05.04.2006 Crime & Punishment

16 years for attempt export of cocaine

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Accra, April 5, GNA - A 32-year-old driver, who swallowed 50 pellets of cocaine with a gross weight of 8,659 grams, was on Wednesday sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment with hard labour by an Accra Regional Tribunal.

Mohammed Camile pleaded not guilty to attempted exportation of a narcotic drug without lawful authority. He also denied possession of a narcotic drug without lawful authority.

Mr Frederick Boamah, Assistant State Attorney, told the Tribunal chaired by Mr Justice Frank Manu that at about 0900 hours on April 9, 2005 Camile arrived at the Kotoka International Airport to board a KLM flight to Amsterdam, Holland.

He said while the convict was going through boarding formalities, personnel of the Narcotics Control Board picked him on suspicion of possessing narcotic drugs and handed him over to the Police for investigation.

Camile was escorted to the 37th Military Hospital where an X-ray examination revealed that he had foreign materials in his stomach. The Prosecutor said under the supervision of officials of the Narcotics Control Board, the convict expelled 50 whitish pellets suspected to be cocaine.

According to him, when Comile was interrogated, he alleged that the drug was given to him by one Mr Obi to be delivered to one Mr Emmanuel Mensah in Europe.

Mr Boamah said the substances, which were forwarded to the Ghana Standards Board for analysis, proved positive for cocaine, with a total gross weight of 8,659 grams.

The cocaine was destroyed on February 7, 2006 on the authority of the Accra Regional Tribunal.