Prime News Ghana

Police inspector, 4 others arrested over cocoa smuggling

By primenewsghana
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Five suspects, including a police inspector, are in custody at the Akosombo Divisional Police Command for their alleged involvement in attempting to smuggle 231 bags of dried cocoa beans to Togo.

The arrests were made by military personnel on duty at the Akuse Dam bridge on Wednesday night. Among the arrested is Inspector Adam Mahama, who was acting as an escort for the truck carrying the contraband.

The other suspects have been identified as De-Graft Otto Mote, Soga Godwin, Baba Issah (the driver), and his mate, Joseph Aha.

The military personnel intercepted a Benz Ateco Truck (registration number GW 4873-22) carrying the cocoa beans concealed under animal feed, and a Mazda Pickup (registration number GW 3556-S) serving as an escort vehicle. The suspects had loaded the consignments in Asuboi, near Suhum, and were transporting them to Togo via Asutsuare and Adidome.

Following their interrogation and subsequent admission, the suspects were handed over, along with the seized cocoa beans, to the Akosombo Divisional Police for further investigations.

They face possible prosecution on charges including purchasing cocoa without authority (contrary to Section 4 of the Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984 – PNDCL 81), attempting to smuggle cocoa beans (contrary to Section 317 (i) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 – Act 29), and attempting to export cocoa beans that have not been inspected, graded, and sealed by an inspector of cocoa (contrary to Section 3 of the Cocoa Industry Regulations Act, 1968 – NLCD 278).

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has intensified efforts to combat cocoa smuggling syndicates, which cost the country millions of Ghana Cedis in lost revenue.

In the past four weeks, five individuals have been sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison with hard labor for their roles in similar smuggling attempts.