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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Source: GNA

2 in court over Wee wrapped with Fante Kenkey leaves

Two persons who were nabbed for wrapping 100 parcels of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp as “Fante Kenkey” on Monday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.

The supposed Fante kenkey were to be exported from Ghana to the United Kingdom and delivered to one Frank Akowuah resident in the United Kingdom.

Kweku Boateng, a Travel and Tour Operator and his driver, Yaw Opoku Antwi have been jointly charged with conspiracy to commit crime, possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority and attempted exportation of narcotic drugs.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh remanded them into Police custody pending further investigations into the matter.

Meanwhile the court has declined a bail application put in by their lawyer, Mr Abubakar Muktin-Bamba saying the application for bail was pre- mature.

They are to reappear on November 9.

Counsel told the court that the facts of the Police did not support the charges. Mr Muktin-Bamba noted that the in the case of Antwi he knew the alleged package were Fante kenkey until the Police opened them.

According to him having physical possession without knowledge was not an offence and prayed the court to admit them to bail.

Counsel contended that accused persons had cooperated with the police adding they had not interfered with investigations.

He said the accused persons would not jump bail pointing and were ready to provide substantial sureties.

Chief Superintendent of Police Duuti Tuaruka opposed to the grant of bail to the accused persons saying they had pointed out that the matter was under investigations.

Chief Supt. Tuaruka noted that under the charge of possessing narcotic drug without lawful authority, that charge was non-bailable.

Accounting to the prosecutor, the accused persons had knowledge of the nature and quality of the substance.

He contended the normal Fante kenkey was not square in shape but round.

The case of the prosecutor was that the complainants in the matter were Police officers stationed with the SWATS unit of the Ghana Police Service.

According to prosecution, Boateng is also a businessman residing at New Achimota in Accra. Antwi resides at Nii Boi Town, Accra.

Chief Supt Tuaruka said on October 19, this year, at about 8:00pm, the complainants had information to the effect that the accused persons had stuffed a Hyundai Mini Bus with cartons of compressed dried leaves which were to be exported to the UK.

Prosecution said the complainant quickly proceeded and laid surveillance. At about 10:30pm, on the same day, the Police officers spotted the bus with registration number GB 5409-12 driven by Antwi.

According to the prosecutor, Antwi was heading towards Aviance Cargo section at the Airport so the Police officer arrested him.

Chief Supt when Antwi was questioned he stated that he was transporting kenkey to be exported.

However when one of the cartons were opened by the Police officers, it came to light that the parcels of compressed dried leaves were wrapped with fante kenkey leaves making it to look like fante kenkey.

Antwi was handed over the Regional Criminal Investigation Department. In his caution statement, Antwi said he was sent by Boateng to transport the alleged Fante kenkey to Aviance Cargo for export.

Chief Supt said Antwi led the Police to New Achimota and Boateng was nabbed. When quizzed, Boateng stated that it was one Frank Akowuah who engaged him to export the exhibit to the UK.

Prosecution said the Police will be sending the dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp to the Police Forensic Laboratory for analytical examination.

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