Court fixes November 23 to hear cocoa smuggling case
An Accra circuit on Tuesday fixed November 23 for hearing of the case involving 14 officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), formerly Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service for their alleged roles in the smuggling of cocoa to Cote d’Ivoire.
When the case was called on Tuesday, a senior State Attorney, Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, prayed the court to adjourn the case to November 23, saying, “My Lord, we all have agreed to fix hearing on November 23.”
The court presided over by Mrs Nana Adwoa Coleman upheld request and the case was adjourned accordingly.
All the 14 have been charged with abetment of crime and have pleaded not guilty.
They have been granted bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 each with two sureties by the Accra Circuit Court.
The officials are Gabriel Dimado, Collection Assistant I, William Festus Yawson, Collection Assistant II, Quaye Sowah Steven, Junior Collection Assistant II, and Prosper Edze, Junior Collection Assistant II.
The rest are Adolf Nii Armah, Junior Collection Assistant III, James Dzamesi, Junior Collection Assistant III, Rockson Eric Appeadu, Assistant Grade III and Paul Dzamesi, Assistant Collection III.
Facts of the case are that an investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas of the New Crusading Guide, had information that some security personnel at the western frontier of Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire border were compromising their work.
The prosecution said they took money to assist people to smuggle dried cocoa beans from Ghana to Cote d’Ivoire.
It said the journalist conducted an initial investigation into the information, which was captured on video and referred it to the Ghana Police Service for investigation.