THE TWO Nigerian Businessmen who were arrested by officials of the Narcotics Control Board for allegedly importing 200kilogrammes of cocaine, with a street value of $12million dollars, have been remanded by an Accra Fast Track High Court.
The two accused persons, James Eleke Chukwu and Sunny Ikechukwu Benji Eke, according to the prosecutor, Asiamah Sampong, were brought to court for the purposes of remand to enable the police to complete their investigations.
The court, presided over by Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, obliged the prosecution’s request and remanded them to re-appear on March 12.
The two accused persons are standing trial on two counts of engaging in criminal conspiracy and importation of narcotic drug without lawful authority.
Sunny, who was allegedly caught with 62 boxes containing 372 bottles of a liquid substance suspected to be narcotic in his possession, was additionally charged with possessing narcotic drug without lawful authority. Their pleas were not taken.
The Principal State Attorney, Asiamah Sampong, briefing the court, stated that in December 2012, the Narcotic Control Board, through its foreign counterparts, received intelligence report that a cargo containing a quantity of cosmetics from Bolivia to Tema Port had narcotic drugs concealed in it.
The goods, which were consigned to a company called De-Consumable Lines Limited, according to the prosecutor, arrived on January 29, 2013 at the Tema Port.
As a result of the information, officers of the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU) mounted surveillance on the cargo in a 40-footer container No. MRK 25748-45 GI, belonging to MAERSK line shipping company.
The prosecutor stated that on February 11, 2013, two clearing agents and witnesses in the case arrived with the necessary documents to clear the goods and when the documents were inspected, they showed that the cargo was billed to contain 22 pallets of assorted cosmetics.
According to Mr. Sampong, the container with seal number ML 014986, unbroken after it was opened in the presence of the agents for physical examination of the goods, revealed 33 cartons containing a total of 174 green bottles of liquid substance suspected to be cocaine concealed in surgical gloves.
The clearing agents, the prosecutor stated, denied knowledge of the narcotic drugs in the cargo.
One of the agents reportedly informed investigators that James, a second-hand clothes dealer, who is her client, introduced Sunny to her as an importer of cosmetic products who wanted his goods cleared for him.
According to the lady agent, the two came to her office with the necessary documents and formally engaged her to clear the cargo for them.
Investigations therefore led to the arrest of James at Aplaku junction near Weija, when he allegedly attempted to take delivery of the cargo.
During interrogation, James allegedly admitted to introducing Sunny to the witness and further mentioned Sunny as the owner of the container.
The prosecution said James narrated to the officials that sometime in 2011, Sunny informed him about his desire to import cosmetic products from South America to Ghana.
For this purpose, he assisted Sunny to register the company, De-Consumables Line Limited, at the Registrar-General’s.
In December 2012, James said Sunny came to him with import documents of the cargo which was then on the high seas from Bolivia to Tema Port, but had no knowledge it contained drugs.
The prosecutor disclosed that on February 21, 2013, James identified Sunny to the NACOB operatives at the Accra Mall after he was lured into the country from Nigeria and subsequently arrested.
During interrogation, Sunny allegedly admitted to importing the cargo of cosmetic with James and two others at large but blamed James and the others for concealing the cocaine in the cargo.
The prosecutor informed the court that the officials retrieved GH˘2,150 from James and $18,700 dollars, CFA 180,600, 3,945.00 naira, GH˘680 from Sunny- all being money they suspected to be part of proceeds from their alleged illegal trade.
The exhibits, according to the prosecutors, had since been forwarded to the Ghana Standard Authority for analytical examination.
Source: Mary Anane/D-Guide
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