The 14 security officers alleged to have aided a group of people to smuggle cocoa beans across Ghana’s western frontier to Cote d’Ivoire were yesterday granted bail in the sum of GH¢20,OOO with two sureties each by the Accra Circuit Court Two.

Their pleas were not taken. They will reappear on August 10, 2010.

Although the Principal State Attorney did not read out the charges, indications are that the suspects are on provisional charges of conspiracy to export cocoa beans and attempted exportation of cocoa beans.

The suspects had earlier been arraigned but they were discharged for want of prosecution after their lawyers had argued that the prosecutor failed to show up in court without any notification.

Before their discharge, the case had been adjourned on three occasions at the insistence of the prosecution, who prayed the court for more time to complete investigations into the matter.

Mr Rexford Wiredu, the Principal State Attorney, told the court yesterday that he was in court to either remand or get bail for the suspects because, according to him, he had just received the docket and needed to review the video.

The court said the suspect desired to be admitted to bail because, from the look of things, the prosecution had not decided on what to do, since they had “not been really charged”.

The accused persons are Gabriel Dimado, William Festus Yawson, Stephen Sowah, Prosper Edze, Nii Armah Adolf, James Dzamesi, Rockson Eric Appeadu, Paul Dzamesi, Police Lance Corporal Isaac Kwaku Asare Darko, Police Constable Samuel Kwasi Ekpeagba, Sergeant Samuel Otoo, Michael Mate-Korle, Kofiabley Frederick and Kofi Aboagye.

They are made up of CEPS collection assistants, policemen and immigration officers.

They were captured in a secret video recording by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist with the New Crusading Guide, when he received information that some security officials at the western frontier of the Ghana-Cote. d’Ivoire border were compromising their work by taking money to assist people to smuggle dried cocoa beans’ from Ghana to the Ivory Coast, to the detriment of the state.

Based on the said information, the journalist conducted an initial investigation and captured his findings on video.

The video, according to him, was referred to the police for investigations and that led to the arrest of the accused persons.

Source: Daily Graphic