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07.11.2007 General News

I Wasn’t Aware Vessel Was To Cart Cocaine

The owner of the MV Benjamin vessel which was allegedly used to cart 77 parcels of cocaine, Joseph Kojo Dawson, yesterday said that he did not know his vessel was going to be used to cart cocaine.

He also denied giving the vessel out to the cocaine baron, Sheriff Asem Dakeh, alias The Limping Man, to cart the cocaine for a fee of $150,000 to be paid after the cocaine had been successfully carted.

Dawson further stated that Isaac Arhin was not an agent of Dashment Company, where he is the Managing Director.

Concluding his evidence under cross-examination at the Fast Track High Court in Accra yesterday, Dawson stated that Sheriff chartered the vessel but he did not know that Sheriff was going to use it to cart cocaine.

Dawson is being tried alongside Isaac Arhin and Philip Bruce Arhin, both Ghanaians, as well as Cui Xian Li and Luo Yin Xing, both Chinese, for allegedly playing various roles in the importation of the cocaine.

They have been charged with various counts of using property for narcotic offences, engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotics and possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

Each of them has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has been remanded in prison custody.
Dawson also stated that he got to know Sheriff at the signing of the charter agreement and met him only twice after the signing ceremony.

He denied an assertion by the prosecution that Dawson hurriedly prepared the sale and charter agreement of the vessel after the vessel was apprehended.

The case was adjourned to Thursday, November 15, 2007.
On Tuesday, October 16, 2007, the court ordered Dawson and the four others to open their defence and answer charges levelled against them.

Giving its ruling in a submission of 'no case' by counsel for the accused persons, the court held that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against the accused persons.

However, a sixth accused person, Pak Bok Sil, a Korean national, was acquitted and discharged by the court, which ruled that the prosecution failed to prove a case against him.

Story by Mabel Aku Baneseh

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