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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 13 June 2019

Source: Mercy Nimo

Disabled man sentenced to 4 years in prison after four attempted stowaways

A 27-year-old physically challenged man has been sentenced to 4 years in prison in hard labour by the Tema District Court for attempting to stow away on four different occasions to overseas via a vessel, without the consent of authorities in charge of those vessels.

Narrating the details of the case to the court presided over by Mrs.Akosua Anokyewaa Agyapong, the prosecutor Sergeant Kleku Mensah told the court that the accused, Mohammed Hakeem aka Fredrick Abaka, aka Diamond is a barber and a resident of Tema New- town.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah said on 29th May this year, the accused was brought to Ghana by air with one immigration officer escort from Namibia and reported that the accused stowed away to Namibia and was arrested at the Namibia port and deported.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah added that investigations revealed that about two weeks ago, the accused travelled to Togo where he entered the port of Togo and managed to get information about a vessel that was about to sail for the United Kingdom.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah said the accused, armed with the information that a vessel was about sailing to the United Kingdom, went to the anchorage of Lome port with the aid of a canoe and manoeuvred his way into the vessel.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah said the vessel which was heading for United Kingdom sailed for 17 days and docked at the Namibian port. He said the accused thought the vessel had docked in the United Kingdom and came out from his hiding place, and was walking out from the vessel.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah added that a crew on board the vessel spotted him; he was arrested and handed over to Namibian immigration, subsequent to which he was deported by air to Accra.

Sergeant Kleku Mensah said after investigations, the accused was charged with the offence and arraigned before court. The accused pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him.

The judge having convicted the accused person on the same offence on four different occasions in the past decided this time, to sentence him to 4 years in prison in hard labour and a fine of GHC6,000.

The judge added that a default in payment of the fine will result in additional 2 years in prison.