Personnel of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) last Sunday night intercepted a heavy-duty truck loaded with 200 maxi bags of cocoa beans at Taviefe, near Ho, speeding towards Togo.
The Mercedes Benz truck, BA 265 V, was said to have travelled from Kade, through Accra, Sogakope and Ho before Customs officers caught up with it at Taviefe.
Subsequently, the driver, Felix Tetteh, 30, was arrested and handed over to the police in Ho while the truck was impounded.
Briefing the Daily Graphic soon after the operation, the Director of Special Services of COCOBOD, Charles Amenyaglo, said the operation followed a tip-off and intelligence gathering.
According to him, the sacks of cocoa beans were sprinkled with fishmeal and covered with wheat bran to conceal the smell of the cocoa beans on board.
Mr Amenyaglo said initial investigations revealed that the same truck was involved in a cocoa smuggling case in March, this year.
Apart from that, he said, the colour of the truck was changed three times between March and May this year to avoid detection by the security agencies.
Further, Mr Amenyaglo said the truck, which earlier used the Accra- Ho-Hohoe route for cocoa smuggling, now operated through Sogakope to outwit the security agencies.
“We will get to the bottom of the matter as soon as possible and process the driver and all those involved for court,” he added.
The Director of Special Services of COCOBOD appealed to patriotic members of the public to readily volunteer information on the activities of cocoa smugglers in the communities to the security agencies and COCOBOD, in the national interest.
He said the driver of the impounded truck was now on police enquiry bail, assisting in investigations into the matter.
Meanwhile, in March, the Board’s Anti-smuggling Task Force in collaboration with the security agencies intercepted over 1,500 bags of cocoa being smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Ghana, the world’s second top producer of cocoa, is facing record smuggling of its produce to neighbouring countries on the back of price differentiation.
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