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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 10 January 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

High Court hears Guyanese cocaine case in-camera

An Accra High Court has decided to have an in-camera hearing in a case in which some Guyanese are held for the roles they played in importing into the country 21 bags of cocaine with a street value of 50 million dollars.

This follows a proposal by the Chief State Attorney, Asiamah Sampong, when three Guyanese appeared in court for prosecution.

According to him, the information to be provided in court, presided over by Justice C.J. Hoenyenugah, an Appeal court judge, sitting as an additional High Court judge, borders on state security and could therefore not be made public due to its classified nature, JoyNews' Anny Osabutey reports.

The accused persons, Perceval Curt, Samuel Mornty and Saint Praimchad, all Guyanese, who pleaded guilty with explanation to all three counts of drug related offences, were among a group of five persons accused of the crime.

The two others, Miller Ronald O’Neil, a Guyanese and Captain of the Guyanese ship and Seth Grant, a Ghanaian, have since begun serving their jail term after they were slapped with a total of 35 years imprisonment last week.

The two have confessed to committing the crime.

The three are being held on three counts of conspiracy to commit offence, engaging in business relating to narcotic drugs, importation of narcotic drugs without lawful authority and possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

Meanwhile, per the orders of the court, 413 slaps of cocaine out of the 414 slaps found in the 21 bags had been destroyed by officials of the Narcotic Control Board.

The remaining slap is expected to be used as supporting exhibit in the trial of the three remaining accused persons.

All five persons including a Ghanaian were, arrested in the Western region aboard a Guyanese ship, “ATIYAH, George-Town”, containing 21 bags of narcotic drug confirmed to be cocaine.

The ship was intercepted following a tip-off from Ghana’s international security partners. It was travelling from Guyana, when it was arrested and was escorted by Ghana Naval Ship, Yaa Asantewaa, to the Sekondi Naval Base.

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