Airport Officials remanded again
By Helena Selby
The four Airport officials, who allegedly aided the exportation of seven and half kilograms of cocaine and a thousand five hundred and forty-five kilograms of herbal cannabis to the United Kingdom (UK), were again denied bail yesterday by an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused persons, Charles Abodakpi, Abdon Dzata, a Customs Officer, who was on duty at Nick TC Scan, Samuel Aryee Tettey, a tractor driver of the Aviance Ghana Limited, Obed Amevor, Security Supervisor of Aviation Profile Security Services, at large, and Frank Amoah, alias Kofi, an Agent and Chief Executive Officer of MONAI Cargo Limited, also at large, are alleged to have a connection with the said narcotic, with street value of 4.3million pounds to the UK.
Counsel for the second accused person, in his application for bail, noted that the accused persons are not the real perpetrators of the crime. According to him, his client especially had nothing to do with the consignment, since it was already sealed when it reached him.
He said it was imperative for the police to further their investigation at the airport, and if possible among the NACOB officials, who were on duty on that fateful day.
Counsel further noted that the first accused person is not a security officer, as indicated in the facts, but just a cargo officer, adding that he knew nothing about security services and that making him a suspect is duly unfair.
The third accused person, on the other hand, is a tractor driver and only has the responsibility of driving the container to the assigned location, counsel told the court, adding that if the third accused person had been considered a suspect, then the pilot who piloted the plane to its final destination must as well be considered a suspect.
The State Attorney, Ashong Okine, in his response, emphasized that he has filed an affidavit opposing the bail application of the counsels of the accused persons.
However, he told the court that investigations are on going and that they are still finding out the whereabouts of the two accused persons, who are at large.
He demanded the court to remand the accused persons into custody, since according to him, the prosecution is not making any undue delays in the investigation process and moreover the charges leveled against the accused persons are “unbailable”.
The court, presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri, therefore, adjourned the case to October 31, 2012, for ruling.
All accused persons are facing charges of conspiracy to export drugs without license from the Minister for Health, contrary to section 1 (1) and 56 ( c ) of the narcotic drug ( control, enforcement and sanctions) act 1990 (PNDCL 236) and prohibited business relating to narcotic contrary to section 3 (2) of the narcotic drugs control enforcement and sanctions law, 1990 (PNDCL 236).
They pleaded not guilty to all charges leveled against but have been remanded into custody to re-appear on October 17, 2012 by the court.
The underling facts are that on September 24 to 25, 2012, the accused persons, including those on the run, played various roles in promoting and facilitating the exportation of the above mentioned narcotic drugs to the UK.
State Attorney, Ashong Okine, told the court that Charles Abodakpi, Samuel Aryee Tettey and Obed Amevor connived with Abdon Dzata to present documents in respect of some foodstuffs meant for export.
According to him, the said foodstuff were in four consignments, which contained narcotic drugs meant for the second accused to certify for their release to the aircraft, under the pretext that the scanner machine had broken down.
He said the second accused person then certified them as having physically checked the consignment and released the goods, which were escorted by the first and fourth accused persons, whilst the second accused person drove it to the aircraft.
“It has also been established from the NICK TC Scan that the scanner machine actually broke down on September 25, 2012, at 2:30 am, when the consignment had already left the airport”, the prosecutor noted.
According to the prosecutor, the second accused person, Dzata, a Customs Officer, succeeded in aiding the rest of the accused persons by giving excuse that the scan machine used for the scanning consignments was faulty.
The state attorney disclosed that under normal circumstance, if the scan machine breaks down, the second accused person was mandated to invite security agencies’ at the airport, such as NACOB, National Security and Aviation Security for joint physical check for the consignments to ensure that nothing incriminating was included.
The prosecution, therefore, noted that the second accused person, however, intentionally refused to invite the above mentioned security agencies for physical checks but simply certified the documents upon sighting the consignments.
A preliminary investigation by the police led to their arrest after the said narcotics were seized upon its arrival at the Heathrow airport, the prosecutor told the court.
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