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General News
Investigator testifies in Tagor''s Case 1/17/2007
Accra, Jan. 16, GNA - Detective Inspector Justice Oppong, a Police investigator said the Police did not find anything relating to drugs in the homes and workplaces of Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abass during separate searches.

He said the accused persons in their cautioned statements admitted that they held a meeting with ACP Kofi Boakye, Former Director in charge of Police Operations, concerning the alleged missing parcels of cocaine. He made these known when he gave his evidence in chief at the Fast Track High Court trying the case of Amaning and Abass in Accra on Tuesday.

Tagor and Abass were arrested after testifying at the Georgina Wood Committee, set up to investigate two cocaine cases.

The two, who are alleged self-confessed drug barons, are jointly charged for conspiracy.

Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs; buying and supplying of narcotic drugs while Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs. They have pleaded not guilty.

The court presided over by Mr Justice J. Dotse has remanded them in Police custody.

Detective Inspector Oppong told the Court that on August 2, 2006, based on the advice of the Attorney General, the Police arrested Amaning and Abass after appearing before the Georgina Wood Committee. Soon after, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Douglas K. Aseidu assigned him to investigate the case of the accused persons. "I, therefore, took Investigation Caution Statements from Amaning and Abass and I must say that they voluntarily offered them without any duress."

Tendering the statements, Detective Inspector (DC) Oppong said the accused persons admitted holding a meeting in the house of ACP Boakye. "I also took statement from ACP Kofi Boakye," he said. The Police investigator said in their statements the accused denied that they were doing businesses relating to drugs.

In the case of Amaning, Detective Inspector Oppong said, he indicated that he was into property development while Abass mentioned that he was dealing in cars.

He said the accused persons mentioned that Alhaji Moro; Yaw Billa; Victor Kisseh and Kojo Ababio were members present at the said meeting. The Investigator said the accused person mentioned further that ACP Boakye had told them that he (ACP Boakye) had heard that Amaning had allegedly sent drugs to Manhyia Palace to sell.

According to the Investigator the accused persons mentioned that ACP Boakye told them that he did not want the name of Manhyia to be marred so he (ACP Boakye) would travel to Kumasi and return two days later. He said due to public outcry during the sitting of the Georgina Wood Committee, he was asked to halt with investigations.

"But the case was later referred to the Criminal Investigations Department at the Police Headquarters," he said.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr Ellis Owusu Forjour, counsel for Amaning, Detective Inspector Oppong maintained that the accused persons denied doing business relating to narcotic drugs. When the Court asked when the searches were conducted in the homes and workplaces of the accused persons he said Amaning''s house was searched on August 4, 2006 while Abass'' was done on August 7, 2006.

Court: "Did you cause further investigations when the name of Manhyia was mentioned?"

Oppong: "My Lord that was the reason why Alhaji Moro was brought in and he was also interrogated."

The case of the Prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 have been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

In the process, the accused persons purchased, supplied, paid and credited the drugs, which they further distributed outside and within the country.

The Prosecution said on April 26, 2006, MV Benjamin anchored in Tema with 77 parcels of cocaine. However, 76 parcels were offloaded into two canoes, which landed at the Kpone beach in the Greater Accra Region. The Prosecution said the news of the 76 parcels got to people of the underworld and even the security agencies also had wind of it. ACP Boakye invited them to a meeting in his house at Kanda in relation to the missing cocaine.

At that meeting, the accused persons voluntarily confessed their dealings in the narcotic business and even boasted openly of previous activities.

The accused in the process also confessed openly that they had purchased drugs, supplied, credited and distributed drugs outside. At ACP Boakye''s house, the accused also agreed to locate the 76 parcels of cocaine seized and share it in furtherance of their business because the quantity of cocaine brought in by the MV Benjamin was too much for one person to enjoy.

The Government set up the Georgina Wood Committee to investigate some cocaine-related cases including the MV Benjamin case and alleged bribery of Senior Police Officers in a 588 kilos of the drug seized from some Venezuelans at East Legon in Accra. Hearing continues on January 30, 2007.


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