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07.09.2005 Crime & Punishment

Cocoa clerk faces 2.5 billion cedis stealing charge


Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - A purchasing clerk contracted to purchase cocoa beans from farmers within Sefwi Kaase in the Western Region for Produce Buying Company (PBC) Limited on Wednesday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly stealing 2.3 billion cedis belonging to the company.

Paul Asare, pleaded not guilty and was granted 2.5 billion cedis bail with two sureties to be justified. He is to reappear on September 28. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr George Abavelim told the court that Asare who had worked with the company for the past 10 years, was given 5.7 billion cedis during the main crop season between October 2004 and May this year, to purchase 10,115 bags of dried cocoa beans for the company.

Prosecution said Asare delivered 5,633 bags of dried cocoa beans during the season leaving 4,482 bags of dried cocoa beans worth 2.5 billion cedis.

He said the company made several efforts for Asare to deliver the rest of the cocoa beans but failed.

ASP Abavelim said a report was made to the police and Asare was arrested and during police interrogation accused admitted the shortage and said he was yet to retrieve some bags of cocoa beans from some farmers in Cote d'Ivoire whom he advanced some monies. The Prosecution said Asare was given two months to recover the cocoa beans but presented only 1,750 bags of beans, which were of low quality reducing the quantity to 341 bags valued at about 192 million cedis after the Quality Control Division of PBC had re-graded them.