Court grants bail to remaining Tema cocaine suspects

By: Ivy Benson

Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, Minister of Justice & Attorney General

The Fast Track High Court (FTC) has finally admitted the rest of two suspects, who are among four people held over the importation of 125 slabs of cocaine with street value of GH¢10Million through the Tema Port.

Benjamin Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Phormlaplus African Company Limited and Anthony Wilson, Operations Manager of Phormlaplus African Company Limited, were yesterday granted bail in the sum of GH¢200,000 with three sureties, two to be justified each by the court, presided over by Justice Mustpha Habib Logoh.

Additionally, the two suspects are to report to the police every day and hearing was adjourned to December 6, 2010. The court took the decision after the State Attorney, Mrs. Evelyn Keelson, did not oppose the granting of bail to the suspects. The court granted bail to two others previously, under the same circumstance.

Benjamin Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Phormlaplus African Company Limited, Anthony Wilson, Operations Manager of Phormlaplus African Company Limited, Kyerewah Twum Barimah and Edward Kojo Arhin, both clearing agents have pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy and importation of narcotic drug, without license, when they were arraigned before the court.

In a brief fact of the case, the State Attorney told the court that in July 2010, Phormlaplus African Company Limited placed an order to America for the supply of fuel additives, which was shipped through various ports to Ghana.

According to her, Benjamin Armstrong instructed Kyerewah Twum Barimah to clear the good from the Tema port, adding that in clearing the goods, the container was found to contain 125 slabs of whitish substances, suspected to be cocaine.

Earlier on, Mr. Joe Aboagye Debrah, counsel for the CEO of Phormlaplus African Company Limited, requested that the fuel additives ordered by his client be released to him, however, Mrs. Keelson noted that the goods were seized by the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), under the Customs Management Act, which is outside the confines of the operations of the Narcotic Control Board (NARCOB).

Mr. Aboagy Debrah then indicated that if CEPS had any objection against the release of the goods to his clients, they should appear in court to state their position. The court, therefore, asked that the parties should study the Act under which the goods were seized by CEPS, and make their respective positions on it.

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