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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 14 February 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Driver, mate arrested for diverting cocoa

Two persons have been arrested for allegedly diverting 500 bags of cocoa beans.

The Ghc100,000 worth of cocoa beans were meant for export, but Kofi Owusu, 32, a driver, and his mate, Kwabena Kwakye, 30, allegedly diverted the commodity they were carting in their truck, with registration number AW 7693-12, from Anweaso Nkwanta, near Sefwi Bekwai in the Western Region, to Ayirebi in the Eastern Region.

Briefing the Daily Graphic in Akyem Oda last Wednesday, the Oda Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent of Police Mr. James Sarfo-Peprah, said the police had a distress call from an official of COCOBOD on February 9 that some vigilant youth of Ayirebi had impounded an articulator load with graded and sealed cocoa beans.

He said he (Sarfo-Peprah) asked the leader of the youth to hand over the suspects to the Ayirebi Police.

Mr Sarfo-Peprah said police investigations revealed that the cocoa, which belonged to the Akuafo Adamfo Company, had been processed at Sefwi Anweaso Nkwanta and despatched to the Tema Harbour for export the previous day.

“Instead of conveying the cocoa to the Tema Harbour, a syndicate, including Owusu and Kwakye, diverted it and offloaded it in a house at Ayirebi,” he added.

Mr Sarfo-Peprah stated that after offloading the cocoa, the syndicate decided to abandon the articulated truck and report to the police that armed robbers had attacked them and stolen the cocoa, saying that had been its modus operandi.

He said the plan did not materialise as the syndicate’s attempt to move the truck away failed. Ultimately, some youth of Ayirebi became suspicious and proceeded to the scene.

“Sensing danger that the youth would arrest them, three members of the syndicate fled the scene in a pick-up vehicle, leaving the articulator driver and his mate behind, who were arrested and later handed over to the police,” he said.

Mr Sarfo-Peprah said when the bags of cocoa were reloaded onto another vehicle and sent to the Oda Police Station, it was detected that it was short by 15 bags.

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