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Court jails driver 5 years, fines teacher for attempted smuggling of cocoa beans

Local News

1 months ago
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Two persons, a driver and a teacher, have been charged jail terms and fines by the Odumase-Krobo Circuit in separate incidents involving the attempted smuggling of cocoa beans to neighbouring Togo.

The latest convictions mark yet another success in the crackdown on syndicates engaged in smuggling Ghana’s cocoa to neighbouring countries.
The Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce accosted the suspects during routine operations last week around ‘Mame Water’ in the Eastern Region, whilst attempting to transport the smuggled goods beans to the neighbouring country.

The first accused person, Abraham Benning Donkor 38, a driver, was handed a 5 five-year jail sentence with hard labour on one count of unauthorized Purchasing of Cocoa Beans contrary to Section4(1) of the Ghana Cocoa Board Act and an additional fine of 250 penalty units for two counts of Attempting to Export Cocoa Beans which has not been Inspected, Graded and Sealed by an Inspector of Cocoa contrary to Section 3 of Cocoa Industry Regulations Act 1968 (NLCD 278) and Attempt to Smuggle and Export Cocoa Beans contrary to Section 317(g) of the Criminal Offences Act 29/60.

The second accused person, George Ametekpor a teacher, was also sentenced to a fine of 250 penalty units, amounting to GH ₵ 3,000.00, after being found guilty on two counts of attempting to export cocoa beans which had not been inspected, graded and sealed by Inspector of Cocoa and attempt to smuggle and export cocoa beans contrary to section 317(g) of the Criminal Offences Act 29/60.

The accused persons pleaded guilty to all the charges and were convicted on their pleas by the Court presided over by His Honour Kwesi Abaiddu Apiate.
According to the facts of the case, the Anti-Smuggling Taskforce on Thursday, May 9, 2024, intercepted Abraham’s vehicle at Mame Water just after crossing the Adomi Bridge with the 5 bags of cocoa.

Upon interrogation, the accused admitted ownership and revealed that he loaded the goods from Agbogbloshie Yam Market and was heading to Dzinidzini in the Oti Region.

The next day, Friday, 10, May 2024, the team again intercepted another vehicle loaded with 4 bags of cocoa at the same location around 03:15 hours. Upon questioning, George Ametekpor admitted ownership but said he was contracted by someone to transport the cocoa beans from Kpong to someone in Juapong. 

However, when the alleged owner was reached on the phone, he promised to follow up but never showed up.

George was subsequently arraigned before the court where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced accordingly.

The court also ordered that the cocoa beans be confiscated and handed to authorities at Ghana Cocoa Board.