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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Source: GNA

Court jails student for possessing cocaine

Accra, Feb. 20, GNA - A student who accused security personnel of changing "diamonds", which he had swallowed, with cocaine was on Wednesday found guilty for possessing 36 pellets of cocaine and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment by the Greater Accra Regional Tribunal. Clifford Broni Bediako, 33, pleaded not guilty. Handing down sentence, the tribunal noted that Bediako's accusation levelled against officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and Ghana Standards Board (GSB) was an attempt to throw dust into the court's eyes. It therefore rejected his claim that "diamonds" he expelled were exchanged with something else. The court held that when Bediako expelled the 36 pellets weighing 282.40 grammes, the investigator sealed the substance in his presence and he (the accused) appended his signature before it was forwarded to the GSB.

The prosecution said the accused, a student of London Metropolitan University, arrived at the Kotoka International Airport at about 2200 hours on July 14, 2005 to board the KLM flight to London. The prosecution said the NACOB official on duty at KIA suspected him of carrying narcotic drugs and he was sent to the 37 Military Hospital where an X-ray examination conducted on him proved that he had foreign material in his stomach. Under the supervision of NACOB officials, Bediako expelled 36 whitish pellets suspected to be cocaine. During interrogation Bediako alleged that he received the drugs from one Kofi who resides at Spintex Road to be delivered to one Kingsley in London for a fee of 1,300 pounds.

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