Crime & Punishment of 2014-06-26

Morrocan with cocaine jailed 10 years

A Fast Track High Court in Accra on Wednesday sentenced a 30-year-old Morrocan, Elazhari Issam, to 10 years imprisonment for concealing 20 parcels of cocaine in 10 ladies bags.

Charged with importation of narcotic drugs and possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority, Issam pleaded not guilty.

The Court presided over by Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, however, found him guilty after a 10-month trial and convicted him accordingly.

The court further ordered that Issam be deported to his country after serving the sentence.

Prosecutor, Ms Malike Woanyah, an Assistant State Attorney, told the court that witnesses in the case were operatives of the Narcotics Control Board stationed at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

Ms Woanyah said on August 26, last year, at about 11:35 hours, Issam was picked up on suspicion that he was carrying a narcotic drug after arriving on board an Ethiopian airline flight from Sao Paolo through Addis Ababa to Accra.

Prosecution said Issam carried three traveling bags and when they were scanned, one of his bags bearing his name contained 10 ladies handbags, each containing two plastic transparent bags stuffed with cocaine.

According to the prosecutor, the powdery substances were concealed in the false compartments of the 10 ladies bags.

When Issam was questioned, he said he bought the bags to sell in Ghana and also study Ghana’s market trend. The exhibit was forwarded to the Ghana Standard Authority for analytical test, and it proved positive for cocaine.