Witness testify at Asem Darkey trial

Police Chief Inspector Charles Adabah, a prosecution witness, has testified at the ongoing trial of Christian Asem Darkey alias “Limping man” at the Accra High Court.

Mr Darkey is alleged to have been the owner of the 77 parcels of cocaine on board the M.V. Benjamin Vessel.

Chief Inspector Adabah said he was assigned the task to investigate the issue in October, 2006 after his predecessor Inspector Justice Oppong had started initial investigations into the matter in August of 2006.

Mr Darkey, also known as Sherrif, a businessman, is on trial for conspiracy, importation of narcotic drugs, possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority and undertaking prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs.

He had pleaded not guilty and is currently on remand with the case being adjourned to November 5, 2012.

Chief Inspector Adabah said investigations revealed that out of the 77 cocaine parcels on board the MV Benjamin, one was left behind in the vessel but the rest of the 76 parcels were taken away by the accused and his accomplices.

He said the parcel left in the MV Benjamin contained 30 slabs and when sent to the Ghana Standards Board for testing, it was revealed that each slab weighs one kilogram.

When questioned by Mr George Heward Mills, Counsel for Asem Darkey that there were lapses in the information received by the Police, Chief Inspector Adabah agreed with the Counsel saying that was the reason the Police had to investigate the incident.

The Counsel again asked if the witness aware that five out of the 30 slabs missing, the witness said he could not remember that five of the slabs were missing and that everything was intact when it was sent to the Standards Board.

Mr Heward Mills also questioned the validity of the claim that the slab found on the M.V. Benjamin was indeed cocaine and Chief Inspector Adabah said though he did not have the opportunity to identify the 76 parcels, witnesses to the affair had testified to that claim at the trial of Joseph Dawson and others leading to their conviction.

Chief Inspector Adabah said Justice Anin Yeboah, the trial judge in the Joseph Dawson case, had also ordered that 25 out of the 30 slabs which were tested at the Standards Board be destroyed.

On April 26, 2006, intelligence gathered by the security indicated that a shipping vessel, MV Benjamin, carrying 77 parcels of cocaine was on the high seas heading towards the West African Coast and to Ghana.

Around midnight the same day, the vessel docked at Tema/Kpone and discharged the parcels, which were off-loaded into a waiting vehicle and taken away. Investigations led to the arrest of some people, who were tried and convicted.

During the trial, the name of the accused featured prominently as the importer and owner of the parcels.

Further investigations revealed that he chartered the MV Benjamin for $150,000 to bring the narcotic drugs to the country.

On Thursday, February 2, the accused was arrested at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital upon a tip-off.