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5 arrested for heroin at Kotoka

Five clearing agents at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the export of five parcels of heroin weighing 1.2 kilograms.

The suspects, Derrick Appiah Kubi, Edwin Quincy Arthur, Nii Sai Ashley, Daniel Kofi Asare and Freder­ick Ato Hawkins, were put before a court presided over by Francis Obiri and charged with conspiracy to com­mit crime and doing prohibited busi­ness relating to narcotic drugs.

They have pleaded not guilty and have been remanded on the orders of the trial judge while the case has been adjourned to January 7, 2015.

DSP Aidan Dery, the prosecutor, who presented the facts of the case, said the suspects are all clearing agents except Asare who is a loading man and they all operate at the Aviance Cargo Village at KIA.

According to him, following receipt of information that an immi­nent shipment of drugs was destined to Ghana via Air Cargo on December 9, 2014, officers of the National Count­er Narcotics Centre (NCNC), in col­laboration with their counterparts from the Surveillance Unit of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), were detailed to conduct a 24-hour day and night surveillance at the KIA Cargo Village.

He said on December 10, 2014 NCNC officers identified three pack­ages shelved on Pallet R78 on E row at the Aviance Warehouse but no one showed up to clear them.

Furthermore, he disclosed that on December 11, 2014 Ashley was identi­fied to have initiated the clearing process and was successful in facilitat­ing the movement of the packages from the holding shelf to the electron­ic security check point (Blue Gate).

In addition, DSP Aidan Dery stat­ed that Appiah Kubi, Ashley and a host of others observed as they con­ducted what seemed like a counter surveillance on the car park.

The police officer said the pack­ages were left unattended to till December 12,2014 when Arthur returned with another person and spoke to some Customs officials sta­tioned at the warehouse.

Explaining further, DSP Dery said thereafter Arthur left with one of the Customs officials and met Ashley and three others at the main car park. According to him, after sometime on the same day the three packages were removed from the electronic check­point to the customs examination area and Asare was seen to have cut the sewn edges of the packages, folded the edges again and used brown cello tapes to seal them.

The officer said this was done apparently to make the packages appear as if they had been examined by Customs and the packages were once again abandoned. He said on December 16,2014 Customs officials opened the packages for inspection in the presence of Appiah Kubi and during the examination five brown parcels, each weighing about 1.2 kilos, were identified and concealed in the packages.

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