Crime & Punishment of Monday, 11 August 2014
A 52-year-old Spanish businessman has been arrested at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) with 17 parcels of cocaine.
The drug, which weighed 11 kilogrammes, with a street value of about $800,000, was found concealed in two travelling bags which the suspect had checked into the aircraft.
Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) officials had to cut open the bags before retrieving the drug, which had been tightly wrapped in black plastic bags and concealed in the corners of the travelling bags.
According to the Deputy Executive Secretary of NACOB, Nii Lante Blankson, the suspect, Perez Serna Anthonio, had travelled from Brazil and transited in Togo before arriving in Ghana on board an Asky Airlines flight on August 5, 2014.
He said Anthonio arrived on Asky Flight KPOO14 carrying a Spanish passport with number AAJ 470941 R issued on July 21, 2014.
While he was going through arrival formalities, officials on duty at the time suspected that he had ingested narcotic drugs, and so he was pulled aside.
He said a urine test conducted on the suspect proved negative, but the officials decided to probe further by searching the two bags Anthonio had picked from the baggage claim during which the 17 parcels were found.
Mr Blankson said when samples of the drug were taken and tested, they proved positive for a narcotic drug, but the suspect, who spoke through an interpreter during interrogation, was tight-lipped.
He said Anthonio briefly stated that the substance had been given to him by another Spanish resident in Brazil to be delivered to somebody in Ghana but refused to mention or show the officials who or where the said person was.
Investigations so far conducted by NACOB indicated that the suspect had, in April, made a similar trip along the same routes and returned after three days.
Mr Blankson said further investigations also revealed that Anthonio was an ex-convict who had spent seven years in jail in Spain for stabbing someone.
Investigations are ongoing, after which the suspect will be arraigned.