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Man Jailed 7 Years in Ghana For Cocoa Smuggling

THE ODUMASE Krobo Circuit, presided over by His Honour, Judge Kwesi Apiatse Abaiddu, has handed a seven-year prison sentence to one Issifu Nyandi, who was found guilty for attempting to smuggle bags of cocoa beans from Ghana to neighbouring Togo.

The accused, who was convicted on his own plea, was arrested with the cocoa beans on Wednesday, April 24, by the Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce, while on board a Ho bound Ford Transit Bus with registration number GG-2749-21, with the intention of transporting them to the Republic of Togo.

According to the facts of the case as told in court on Friday April, 26, the Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce, upon a tip-off, intercepted the said bus around 5p and upon thorough search, six bags of cocoa beans, concealed in poly sacks were subsequently retrieved. Upon interrogation, the accused, Issifu, claimed ownership of the contrabands.

According to the prosecution, the accused bought the cocoa beans from Koforidua in the Eastern Region and transported them to Tudu in Accra with the purpose of carting them to the Republic of Togo to sell.

However, upon tip-off, the Taskforce swiftly arrested him whilst on board the bus subsequently handed him over to the Akosombo Police on the same day.

Upon further investigations, Issifu was arraigned before the Odumase Krobo Circuit and charged with offences of Purchase of Cocoa without authority contrary to S4 of Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984(PNDCL81), Attempting to smuggle cocoa beans contrary to S317 (i) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act 1960(Act29) and Attempting to export cocoa beans which have not been inspected, graded and sealed by an Inspector of cocoa, contrary to S 3 of Cocoa Industry Regulations Act, 1968(NLCD278).

According to the Laws of Ghana, the penalty under S4 of PNDCL 81 is a custodial sentence of between five and ten years without an option of a fine.

The accused therefore pleaded guilty to the offences and was subsequently convicted on his own please by the Presiding Judge to seven years in prison.

According to information, two earlier convictions were recorded by the same court last week, highlighting the increasing spate of the incidents of cocoa smuggling in the country in recent times.

The swift and decivisve actions taken by the Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Task Force not only thwarted the nefarious attempts by the convict at circumventing the laws of the country but also underscored the vigilance and determination of Ghana Cocoa Board and other security agencies to combat the illegal activities that continue to threaten the integrity and survival of Ghana’s cocoa industry.

Source Cocoa Post
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