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Bag belonging to accused has no CEPS and NACOB inscriptions – NACOB official

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Ibrahim Sima

A narcotics control officer on Thursday said the bag belonging to Sima Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Exopa Modelling Agency, who is on trial for drug-related offences, had no inscriptions of CEPS and NACOB, when it was brought out from the conveyor belt.

Mr. Shardrack Bosumtwi of Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), said it was the practice at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) that after various checks by CEPS and NACOB officials, bags were tagged with their inscriptions.

Before an Accra Fast Track High Court, Mr. Bosumtwi denied that Sima’s bag was opened before he (Sima) was asked to identify it on the conveyor belt.

Led in evidence by Mr. George Kwadwo Ofori, Principal State Attorney, Mr. Bosumtwi said on September 7, 2009, he was detailed by the Commanding Officer, Mr. Anthony Smith to be on duty at the Baggage Section of the KIA between 1800 hours to 0600 hours on September 8, 2009.

While on duty, the second prosecution witness said he saw Mr. Smith bring Sima down from the passenger section together with other officers, and Sima picked up his bag among others.

Witness said it was detected that Sima’s bag had not been searched; therefore he (Sima) was asked to open the bag.

Before that, Mr. Bosumtwi said Sima had told them that the bag contained four tubers of yam, a coat and other personal effects.

Witness said Mr. Smith examined the tubers of yam carefully and found out that “the top of the yam had been cut and another one had been cut in the middle.”

The two tubers of yam, witness said when scooped had some whitish substances in them, adding, “I and other officers were given cameras to take photographs.”

According to the witness, when a field test was conducted on the substances in the presence of the accused and other security officers, it tested positive of cocaine.

He said Mr. Smith, his boss, therefore asked him to make photocopies of Sima’s passport and other travelling documents.

Witness said he handed over the documents to Mr. Smith and went back to his post.

In a cross-examination by Mr. James Agalga, Sima’s counsel, witness admitted that on the day of the incident, he was on duty with another officer attached to the “Operation West Bridge.”

He denied that Sima’s bag was opened and later dumped among other bags.

Witness denied that NACOB and CEPS failure to write on Sima’s bag amounted to negligence on their part.

He pointed out that some passengers sometimes did not send their bags to the two institutions for inspection adding: “That was creating problems for them at the Airport”.

Sima is facing charges of attempting to export narcotic drugs and possessing narcotic drug without lawful excuse.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecution’s case is that the accused allegedly concealed five kilogrammes of drugs suspected to be cocaine in some tubers of yam while travelling to Frankfurt, Germany, on September 7, last year.

While going through departure formalities, officials of NACOB opened his luggage and found the tubers of yam cut and joined.

When the yams were cut into pieces, the drugs were found concealed in them.

The prosecution said Sima claimed ownership of the drug claiming he was asked to give it to someone in Germany for a fee of 3,200 dollars.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, March 17.

Source: GNA

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