Accra, Sept. 29, GNA - The Director General of Police Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye, is to be arrested and charged alongside 17 others for their involvement in the MV Benjamin Cocaine saga.
Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of the Interior, who announced this at a press conference to present government's position on the Mrs Justice Georgina Wood Committee said the committee found substantial evidence showing that, instead of protecting national interest and fighting crime, ACP Kofi Boakye with four others sought to promote their own agenda for financial reward.
The four, Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor, Alhaji Issah Abass, Kwabena Acheampong and Alhaji Moro - met in ACP Kofi Boakye's house to find out, who was spreading rumours that ACP Boakye had raided the MV Benjamin with his men and stolen cocaine. The meeting was unknowingly recorded The Committee found that in pursuance of their common goal, ACP Kofi Boakye connived with four others to find the owners of the cocaine, who were alleged to be Columbians for an unlawful purpose, other than arresting them and handing them over to the law enforcement agencies. ACP Kofi-Boakye was invited to the BNI Headquarters earlier in the day for questioning.
Mr Kan-Dappah said the Committee found from the recorded meeting, spontaneous conversation of the participants that ACP Kofi Boakye's specific role was to "stay in the background and sort out" the Columbians, should they prove naughty. "The Committee also found from the recorded conversation that, Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abass confessed to a number of narcotic drug deals they had engaged in and the use to which they had put some of the money, which accrued from the deals. "The Committee found that in the presence of ACP Kofi Boakye, Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abbas confessed to past drug related transactions that they had engaged in and the unlawful gains they had made out of these deals.
"At the meeting ACP Kofi Boakye confessed to gross abuse of office and or gross professional and unsatisfactory misconduct, namely having let off the hook persons he had arrested or should have arrested for violating the laws of this land, based upon mere pleas and petitions, as he himself confessed, of one of the participants at the meeting." The 13 others to be charged alongside Kofi Boakye and the four with whom he met in his house include Asem Darkei Sheriff, Captain Kwak, the Captain of the MV Adede 2/Benjamin Vessel, Chief Engineer of the Adede 2/Benjamin, Kwak Seong aka Killer, a Korean and Isaac Arhin, the second officer of the Adede 2/Benjamin vessel.
Others are Philip Bruce Arhin, the mechanic of Adede 2/Benjamin, James Kingsley-Incoom, the Cook of the vessel, Cui Xing Li, Engineer, Luo Jin Xing, sailor, Joseph Kojo Dawson, a director of Dashment Company Ltd, Owners of the vessel.
The rest are Jil Bae, a Korean resident in Spain and a representative of the sellers of the vessel, Detective Sergeant Samuel Yaw Amaoh of the Ghana Police and Hlordzi Kwaku, aka Ahey, one of the people, who carted the drugs from the canoe at Kpone into a vehicle to the landing site by Asem Darkei Sheriff and Kwak Seong, aka Killer. The police will liaise with INTERPOL to arrest those, who are at large and repatriate them to face trial in Ghana. The Committee was set up July 4, 2006 to determine the facts leading to the suspected lost of narcotic drugs brought into the country by MV Benjamin and an alleged 200,000 dollars bribe paid to Senior Police Officers by a 23-year-old woman, Ms Grace Asibi.
The Committee could not trace the whereabouts of the missing 77 parcels of cocaine.
The committee submitted its report to Government last Friday. The Ministry of the Interior gave the Committee a two-month mandate to complete its work but granted a week extension of time based on a request by the Committee to enable it to complete its work. The Committee was charged to determine the actual number of narcotic drug parcels on board the vessel immediately before it was intercepted and whether some of the parcels on board the vessel were removed before it was intercepted.
The Committee was to establish when and how the removal happened and recommend the appropriate punishment. The Committee was also to investigate any other issues relating to the loss of narcotics drugs and make recommendations on how to avoid recurrence.
The Committee had the additional mandate of investigating the various allegations levelled against some Police Officers with respect to the seizure of a quantity of narcotic drugs at East Legon and to advise on appropriate actions against any person or persons found culpable.
About 30 people appeared before the Committee, which started its public hearing on July 25, 2006 with Ms Asibi, the prime witness in the East Legon drug seizure case, and Superintendent Edward Tabiri, Former Head of the Rapid Response Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Some of the key persons, who appeared before the Committee in relation to the East Legon case included the Director-General of (CID), Mr David Asante Apeatu and his Deputy Mr Patrick Ampewuah. In their evidence, they denied any act of bribery by Ms Asibi. Mr Ampewuah also denied a claim by Ms Asibi that he threatened her life in a phone call.
Other witnesses in that case were Mrs Gina Blay, Managing Editor of the "Daily Guide" newspaper; Mrs Rosa Iris Dosoo, Secretary/Translator of Vasquez and Mr Robert Joseph Mettle Nunoo, who is also called Rojo. In the case of the MV Benjamin, the issue, which took centre stage, was a recording of a conversation relating to the disappearance of the cocaine from the ship at a meeting between some alleged drug dealers in the house of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye. The key witnesses in that tape recording, which came to be known as the "Kofi Boakye Tape", were arrested, when they came to testify before the Committee.
The witnesses included Alhaji Issah Abass; Kwabena Amaning also called Tagor and Kwabena Acheampong.
Other witnesses, who testified before the Committee in that case included Colonel Isaac Kwesi Akuoko, Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB); Mr Ben Ndego, Director of Operations of NACOB and Mr Kofi Bentum Quanson, a Former National Security Co-ordinator and the First Executive Secretary of NACOB. Mr Patrick Kwateng Acheampong, Inspector General of Police, Mr Francis Poku, Minister of National Security and Mr Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, Executive Director of the Food and Drugs Board and some security personnel from the Ghana Navy and Ghana Air Force also testified before the Committee.