The Ashaiman Circuit Court has sentenced Emmanuel Atinga, a labourer with the Ghana Dock Labour Company to a fine of GHC2,400.00 or in default serve a four-month jail term for attempting to stowaway to Belgium.

The court presided over by Mrs. Eleanor Kakra Banes Botchway sentenced the accused after he pleaded guilty to the charge of stowaway contrary to section 179(1) of Ghana Shipping Act 2003 (ACT 645).

The Court heard that the convict together with his colleagues were contracted to offload containers from the vessel, M/V Grandi Lagos, a container vessel at Takoradi on July 24, 2021 after which they were all asked to evacuate.

Chief Inspector of Police Samuel Aperwah prosecuting said Atinga who had already prepared himself to stowaway hid in one of the containers that had a tarpaulin covering its top and with the aid of a knife, cut open the tarpaulin and stayed in it.

Chief Inspector Aperwah said the vessel which left the shores of Ghana the next day sailed to Abidjan Port where it stayed for three days, and left for Europe on July 28.

He added that on August 05, 2021, the vessel entered the Belgium port anchorage and as it berthed, the convict came out from his hideout thinking he had reached his destination.

He was then spotted by one of the handlers of the vessel and was taken to the captain who kept him in a cabin till they loaded the vessel and headed back to Africa on August 10.

The facts stated that the vessel docked at Benin port on August 22, and the accused was handed over to immigration officials who subsequently transferred him to Ghana by flight and was handed over to the police upon his arrival in Ghana on August 29, for investigations and prosecution.