Court Strikes out Cocoa Smuggling Case for Lack of Capacity

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Court Strikes out Cocoa Smuggling Case for Lack of Capacity
Court Strikes out Cocoa Smuggling Case for Lack of Capacity

Africa-Press – Ghana. The Debiso Magistrate Court in the Western North Region has struck out the cocoa smuggling case involving one company, Adams Addison Enterprise because it lacks capacity to adjudicate the case.

The court said the minimum sentence for smuggling is 20-years should the suspect be found guilty, but the magistrate court does not have the capacity to pronounce such a sentence.

On June 18, the police in Sehwi Adjofua in the Bia West District of the Western North Region intercepted 800 bags of cocoa beans that were allegedly being smuggled to neighbouring Ivory Coast.

The suspect from Adams Addison Enterprise was put before the Debiso Magistrate Court, charged with attempted smuggling, but the court said it lacked the capacity to adjudicate such a case.

Background

The police intercepted the cocoa beans in an articulator truck with the registration number, AS 3984-12, which was fully loaded.

The arrest follows a tip-off from the intelligent officers of the Ghana Cocoa Board which forms part of the ongoing efforts to curb illegal activities and protect Ghana’s cocoa industry.

The police swiftly mobilized and set up a roadblock on a key route used by these smugglers. Upon inspections, the officers discovered a large consignment of cocoa bags.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the cocoa is valued at several million Ghanaian cedis, was intended for illegal export to the neighbouring Ivory Coast, where it could fetch higher prices due to differing market conditions.

Smuggling of cocoa across the Ghana-Ivory Coast border has been a persistent issue over the years in the Western North Region.

An intelligent officer at the Ghana Cocoa Board in Bia West, Major Rtd Ebenezer Tetteh, explained that the district has been fighting against cocoa smuggling in the area for years but there have not been any changes.

He said this has resulted in decline in cocoa production in the region. Major Rtd Tetteh assured that they will continue to work hard to get those involved arrested.

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