Suspected vessel carrying cocaine intercepted in Ghana

cocaineA joint operation by the National Security, the police, the Narcotic Control Board and the Port Security has led to the discovery of five bags of substance suspected to be cocaine on board a Panamanian vessel which docked with cargo later found to be sugar from Brazil.

A Filipino crew member whose identity is yet to be established was alleged to have committed suicide after the discovery of the cocaine.

The 23 crew members, as well as the ship, have been placed under security guard to avoid any intrusion.

The area around Berth Three, where the vessel MV St Eferm docked Tuesday afternoon, was cordoned off and declared a security zone.

Information gathered at the port indicated that Agency Global Cargo and Commodities based in Tema was the local agent for the vessel.

Briefing the Daily Graphic on the incident in Tema, the Chairman of the NACOB Board, Captain Assassie Gyimah (retd), said the vessel arrived in the country 10 days ago but was able to berth Tuesday afternoon only for the security to discover the bags of the substance suspected to be cocaine.

He said the substance looked like sugar and, therefore, required expertise of officials of the security agencies and NACOB to detect the substance.

He said the vessel, flying a Panamanian flag, carried 14,000 tonnes of sugar from Brazil.

Captain Gyimah said security search during the joint operation at about 5.30 p.m. uncovered five parcels of whitish substances believed to be cocaine.

Meanwhile the body of the Filipino crew member has been conveyed to a mortuary in Accra for further examination and autopsy.

Source: Daily Graphic

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