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Moroccan woman in alleged narcotic drugs formally charged

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Fatima Elouardi, the 37-year-old Moroccan woman who is being held for alleged narcotic offences and whose trial had to be adjourned because there was no French interpreter on Wednesday appeared before Accra Circuit Court.

The accused has been provisionally charged with importation of narcotic drug without license and possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

However, the accused whose plea was not taken have been remanded into lawful custody to re-appear on April 24.

Mr Asiamah Sampong, Principal State Attorney told the court that the accused has been provisionally charged because investigations on the matter are still ongoing.

He said the accused was brought to be remanded by the court in order to comply with the country’s constitutional requirement that the accused cannot be held beyond 48 hours without a court order.

Mr Dela Blagodzi, Counsel for the accused prayed the court to give an order so that he can have access to his client.

Ms Audrehis Kokuvi Tay, the trial judge gave the prosecution six days to charge the accused properly.

The facts are that on April 5, 2012 the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) received intelligence report to the effect that Fatima Elouardi on board an Emirate flight 788 travelling from South Africa through Dubai had narcotics drugs in her luggage.

On the same day at about 1230 hours the flight landed at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), and the accused was identified among passengers by NACOB officials as soon as she disembarked. The accused was arrested and made to identify her bag among the lot.

Fatima Elouardi was escorted to the NACOB office where they searched her bag in her presence which revealed some whitish substance suspected to be cocaine concealed in her bag.

Investigations have revealed that the accused who was born in Morocco on November 20, 1975, was holding passport No.NN751380 arrived in Ghana on March 19, 2012 to meet one Youssef Salloum, 41, a Lebanese.

On March 20, 2012, Salloum contacted the accused to meet one Kamil Jawahiri also a Lebanese who had relocated from Ghana to Brazil to collect the narcotic drugs from him.

On April 5, 2012, Elouardi arrived at KIA from Sao Paulo with the suspected narcotic drug.

Salloum is currently on the run and efforts are being made to trace him. The substance has been sent to the Ghana Standards Board for examination. Investigations are still ongoing on the matter.

Source: GNA

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