Six persons including Aisha Gangarey, a TV presenter, were nabbed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and US authorities for allegedly importing 3.7 kilograms of heroin into the United States of America (USA).
The accused persons, who have been put before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Francis Obiri, would be extradited to the United States if found guilty.
The suspects who acted as couriers are Benjamin Boamah, alias Kweku; Derrick Boateng; Lawrence Aboagye and David Femi (at large) and another group made up of Alvin Salim Mustapha and Derrick Maxwell.
The said couriers who have become Collaborative Witnesses (CWs) in the US were arrested at JFK Airport and Washington International Airport (in the States) when they (couriers) mentioned the suspects as those who sent them.
The suspects have been charged with conspiracy to import narcotic drugs into the States, conspiracy to distribute and importation of narcotic drugs without license.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been remanded in police custody to reappear on March 26, 2014.
DSP Aidan Dery, who presented the facts on the TV presenter, stated that she is a Ghanaian and a TV presenter who resides at Kokomlemle in Accra, adding that her husband -now deceased – was allegedly into drugs and had a partner who was arrested in the united States in 2012. .
He said the FBI, in collaboration with the Interpol Accra, Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the United States Embassy, received a deposition on August 28, 2013 through the Attorney-General for the extradition of Aisha after her deceased husband’s partner who was arrested in the United States over heroin, became a CW.
According to DSP Aidan Dery, the suspect mentioned Aisha as the one who sent her 1.5kg of heroin through a courier at the cost of $35,000.
The prosecutor said the suspect in the US had her picture which he showed the FBI and the US authorities.
The police officer stated that on December 10, 2013 the A-G received a deposition from the US Embassy and FBI concerning an extradition request for Boamah, Boateng and Aboagye who are also Ghanaian nationals residing in Accra.
DSP Dery said the deposition stated that on April 19, 2012, a drug suspect was arrested at Washington International Airport by US Customs and Boarder Protection Inspectors after he had expelled 767 grammes of pellets which tested positive for heroin. .
He said the suspect, during interrogation, mentioned the Ghanaian suspects as those who helped him to obtain the said drugs after he had told them he wanted some to buy and send to the US.
Furthermore, he said while the other suspects gave him money to buy some of the heroin, it was Femi who gave $25,000 for the purchase of most of it.
In addition, the prosecutor maintained that Mustapha and Maxwell are also Ghanaian nationals and residents of Newtown, adding that a deposition from the
US regarding an extradition request was received by the A-G on December 12,2013.
Explaining further, he said the request followed the arrest of a suspect at JFK Airport after he had arrived there from Ghana on board Delta Airlines and was arrested with 1.4 kg of heroin.
The DSP stated that the suspect, who also became CW, told the US authorities that it was the suspects who gave him the drugs to carry along with him into the US.
He said the CW claimed he and others were provided with food, hotel accommodation, among others things. He said the suspects denied the offence in their caution statements.
Paul Abariga, counsel for the TV presenter, said there had not been any extradition agreement with the US on drugs like heroin and added that the charges did not support the facts.
The judge had the suspects remanded after stating that counsel should have complained about the facts and charges before the plea of the suspects were taken, but not after.
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