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General News
Cocaine case drags on for interpretation 1/17/2007
Accra, Jan. 16, GNA - The Accra High Fast Track Court hearing the illegal importation of 77 parcels of cocaine was on Tuesday adjourned to January 17, 2007 to enable the Court proceeding to be interpreted to the foreigners involved in the case.

The case involved the owner of the vessel, MV Benjamin/MV Adede and five crew members, who are accused for carting the stuff. The crew are Pak Bok Sil, 46 year-old Korean Engineer; Isaac Arhin, a 49-year-old sailor; Philip Kobina Bruce Arhin, a 47 year-old-mechanic; Cui Xing Li, a 44-year-old Chinese sailor, and Luo Yin Xing, a 49-year-old sailor.

Isaac Arhin, Philip Arhin, Cui and Luo are charged for possessing narcotic drugs without authority and engaging in prohibited business. Joseph Kojo Dawson, the owner of the vessel, who is being held for using his property for narcotic offence; is facing the charge of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotics. They pleaded not guilty and are in Police custody.

The sitting judge, Justice Annin Yeboah asked that a copy of the proceedings be explained through an interpreter in the accused person''s own language to enable them to understand the proceedings and to have a fair idea of what the trial was about, saying "the 5th and 6th accused persons cannot speak English".

Justice Yeboah was of the view that an equal opportunity should be given to the foreigners and it should not be seen as if the Court did not hear their case.

He said for justice to prevail room must be given to every individual, who was standing trial.

Counsel for Joseph Dawson, Mr. D.K. Ameley, appreciated what the Court was doing for justice to prevail but pleaded with the Court to grant his client bail saying "our clients have ordinarily been kept in custody for too long a time".

However, Mr Ameley was not happy about the case being delayed saying his client has been in custody since April, 2006 year and that the trial was going to delay since it was about the sixth time proceedings had to stop.

The charge sheet says on February 6, 2006 Dawson, who is also a businessman, indirectly without lawful authority and with the intention of facilitating an enterprise relating to narcotic drugs, did allow one Asem Dake a.k.a. Sheriff to use his vessel (MV Benjamin/MV Adede) to import 77 parcels each containing 30 kilograms of cocaine into the country without a licence issued by the Minister of Health.

Pak is also said to have repaired the MV Benjamin vessel to facilitate the transportation of the 77 parcels of cocaine from Takoradi to Tema. Isaac, Philip, Cui and Luo on April 27, 2006, who were on board the MV Benjamin vessel, allegedly had in their possession one parcel containing 30 slabs of cocaine each weighing about one kilogram. 16 Jan. 07


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