Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi
Several Ghanaians swamped the Isleworth Crown Court in London yesterday when the case involving suspected cocaine baroness, Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, came up for hearing.
The judge, Martin Demunds, asked Ruby: 'Are you Ms Nayele Ametefeh?' and she responded 'Yes.'
He asked her if she was guilty for the transportation of cocaine and she responded 'Yes.'
The suspect addressed the judge via a video conference facility from her prison where she is currently being held.
She was calm in her light green apparel and did not look too worried, according to reports.
It was the first time the case was called in court for preliminary proceedings to begin, after she was remanded by Uxbridge Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, November 11, upon her arrest at London Heathrow Airport.
Ruby is standing trial for allegedly smuggling 12.5kg of cocaine estimated to be worth over $5 million from her native country, Ghana, to the United Kingdom (UK) where she was arrested a couple of weeks ago.
Twelve other persons have been arrested and standing trial in connection with the case in Ghana, including two of Ruby's own friends with whom she reportedly embarked on that journey to the UK – Sadalia Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah.
It has emerged that they were allowed to use the VVIP lounge – reserved for the president, his ministers and other very important personalities – at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in smuggling the narcotics drug into the waiting plane, even though government and its agents claim it was rather the VIP section.
Most of the people who besieged the Isleworth court were Ghanaians resident in UK who were there not only to witness proceedings, but also to catch a glimpse of the lady since they thought she would be present at the court physically.
The courtroom was so packed to capacity that some of the people had to observe proceedings from outside.
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But that was not meant to be since the trial was conducted via a video conference from the prison facility where she is being held in Bronzefield.
When her image appeared before the court presided over by Martin Edmunds QC yesterday, Ruby, represented by counsel Andrea Marie Brown, was first asked if her name was Nayele Ametefeh, to which she answered in the affirmative.
She subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge of fraudulently importing some 12kg of cocaine in a hearing that lasted barely five minutes.
Her guilty plea came as a surprise to many, including state prosecutor, Revinden Johal. He told journalists after the procedings, 'I was shocked to see so many people come to find out or to learn something in connection with the accused and it was sad that not all of them could get into court to witness what is quite an amazing case; the sheer speed that the arrest took place and suddenly we find someone pleading guilty two weeks later.'
The lady however, did not make any disclosures with regard to names of her possible accomplices or who sent her with the narcotics drugs and who she was sending the substance to in the UK.
On her own admission of guilt, the presiding judge adjourned the case to Monday, Jan 5, 2015 for sentencing, by which time laboratory analysis of the quantity and purity of the substance plus its street value would be furnished the court before the verdict.
State prosecutor, Revinden Johal was amazed at the number of Ghanaians that stormed the court to observe proceedings.
Asked what he made of the case, the state prosecutor said, 'I was alerted to this case yesterday and I read some stuff online that seem to indicate that this is no ordinary case; there were political ramifications, connections that could go way up in Ghana's political system and the accused carries with her some aura…someone describes her as the Cleopatra of the drugs trade in that part of Africa.'
Obviously amazed at the turn of events in court, he said, 'She is not an ordinary drug smuggler and that seems to indicate she is not the ordinary drug smuggler; what I can't explain because we don't know yet is the incredible speed by which she gets arrested off a BA flight a fortnight ago and then two weeks later, she is pleading guilty.'
He was asked about the diplomatic passport issue and he said no comments on that.
By C harles Takyi-Boadu
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