General News Wed, 21 Mar 2007
Accra, March 21, GNA - The controversial ACP Kofi Boakye Tape on which some alleged drug barons confessed their involvement in a cocaine deal was played in court on Wednesday.
The CD was "dropped" by an anonymous person when the Georgina Wood Committee set up by the Ministry of the Interior to investigate some drug-related cases requested the public to assist it to unravel the mysteries behind the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine on board MV Benjamin.
The voices on the CD are believed to be those of Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor and Alhaji Abass; Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye; Kwabena Acheampong and Alhaji Imoro.
Tagor and Alhaji Abass, who are alleged self-confessed drug barons, are jointly charged for conspiracy.
Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs; buying and supplying of narcotic drugs, while Abass is being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs.
They have pleaded not guilty and the Court, presided over by Mr Justice Jones Dotse has remanded them in prison custody.
Though the recording was not audible, ACP Mr Kofi Boakye's voice could be heard loudly over the rest of the accused persons.
During the said meeting in ACP Boakye house, he (ACP Boakye) addressed the accused persons and mentioned their names as well. As soon as the recorded CD ended, Prosecuting Ms Gertrude Aikins, Chief State Attorney, prayed the Court to offer the Prosecution and Defence copies of the tape for their study.
The Court overruled Ms Aikins' request for adjournment saying:
"The Court would now determine the pace at which the trial should go." According to the Court, if the accused persons were on bail the pace of the trial would have been different.
Continuing with his examination in chief, Detective Inspector Charles Adaba told the Court that when he took custody of the tape, he listened to the content and realised that there was the need for further investigations.
According to Inspector Adaba he, therefore, investigated the statements made by the accused persons and others present at the meeting.
The Investigator said he needed the assistance of a voice analyst to determine, who made statements on the CD.
Detective Inspector Adaba said he sought the assistance of the Office of the Attorney-General and they found an expert outside the country.
The CD was forwarded to J.P. French and Associates in the United Kingdom for voice analysis.
The Witness said when the firm received the CD they requested fresh voice recordings of the names mentioned on it.
"In order not to change their voices, I recorded them without their knowledge and forwarded them to the UK for analysis."
The case of the Prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug baron, who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.
In the process, the accused persons purchased, supplied, paid for and credited the drugs, which they further distributed outside and within the country.
The Prosecution said on April 26, 2006, a ship, MV Benjamin, anchored in Tema breakwaters with 77 parcels of cocaine. However, 76 parcels were offloaded into two canoes, which landed at the Kpone Beach in the Greater Accra Region.
The Prosecution said the news of the 76 parcels got to people of the underworld and the security agencies also had wind of it. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye invited them to a meeting in his house at Kanda in relation to the missing cocaine. At that meeting, the accused persons voluntarily confessed to their dealings in narcotic business and even boasted openly of previous activities.
The accused in the process also confessed openly that they had purchased drugs, supplied, credited and distributed drugs outside. The accused persons also agreed to locate the 76 parcels of cocaine and share them in furtherance of their business because the quantity of cocaine brought in by the ship was too much for one person to enjoy. Hearing continues on March 22.