new trend of smuggling cocoa beans into neighbouring Togo has emerged after security services together with Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) officials increased vigilance along the Kadjebi and Jasikan communities.

Instead of the orthodox method of packing the beans in sacks, the farmers now convey the cocoa beans in empty containers popularly known as ‘Kuffour gallons’ under the guise of going to carry palm wine, going to the farm or to fetch water.

Such was the case last week when luck eluded one smuggler who is now on the run.

After he made several rounds through Ketsi, a border community in the Oti region’s Jasikan district, people around got curious.

According to JoyNews’ Peter Senoo, upon interrogation, the unidentified man reportedly fled, leaving his gallons behind.

The District Chief Executive for Jasikan Lawrence Kwami Aziale visited the community with some Cocobod officials to retrieve the cocoa beans and appealed to them to stop the practice since it is denying the state the needed revenue.

Joy News sources revealed that there were political party executives especially of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who are engaged in the act.

“We cannot shoot ourselves in the foot. I am sending this warning to any party person that if any arrest is made, I will not in any way intervene for them,” the DCE stated.

He said there are task forces put in place to gather intelligence to report the illegal activity to the appropriate authorities.

An official of Cocobod (name withheld) in an interview described the actions of these farmers as ‘unpatriotic’.

“We are not short-changing them. When we are making investments in the production of their cocoa beans, for them to have more volumes, we are investing in their farms,” he stated.

He explained that price that are given these cocoa farmers are in tandem with world market standards.

Meanwhile, some four other bags of cocoa bean which were intercepted last week have been given to Cocobod.