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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 22 March 2016


McDermott to be extradited

David McDermott hides from cameras as he is being escorted from the court premises in Accra David McDermott hides from cameras as he is being escorted from the court premises in Accra

David McDermott, the British fugitive arrested in Ghana for criminal offences involving narcotics, will be extradited to face charges in the UK.

This came to light as he appeared before an Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday 22nd March 2016. Officials from the Attorney-General’s Department at the hearing indicated that a request had been made by UK authorities to have the accused transferred, Joy FM’s Raymond Acquah, who was in court, reported.

Lawyer for the accused, Victor Kodjogah Adawudu, who was not enthused at the way the case was being handled, complained to the court that he had been refused access to his client to which the court granted him some few minutes to interact with the accused.

Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to 22nd March 2016 when the court is expected to hear some more witnesses, after which the extradition process will begin.

McDermott, 42, from Ormskirk, and a target in Operation Captura – a collaboration between British and Spanish authorities to track down Britain’s most wanted fugitives in Spain – was arrested during a joint operation involving officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK and the Ghanaian Bureau of National Investigations on Friday, March 11 in Accra.

Mr McDermott is suspected to have been a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group, involved in a conspiracy to import and supply cocaine, which was seized from a container of frozen Argentinian beef in May 2013 at Tilbury Docks. He is also wanted for conspiracy to blackmail.

He was in possession of a Ghanaian passport with the name David Smith when he was arrested. He had lived in Ghana for three years and was married to the step-daughter of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, before his arrest in connection with the $71-million drug bust.

In a related development, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana has said he will not take the fall for his son-in-law’s sins.

“My son-in-law is my son-in-law; it has nothing to do with me being governor of the central bank. I have made a statement on that, and that should be enough for you. My term will end this year, and I will let you know when I’m going,” Dr Wampah told journalists on Monday, March 21 concerning clamours by critics for his resignation in connection with the recent arrest of David McDermott by Ghanaian and UK authorities for drug trafficking.

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