EXOPA boss makes another appearance in court


EXOPA boss, Ibrahim SimaAn officer of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Mr Anthony Smith, Tuesday told the Accra Fast High Court that seven other officers were present when substances found in three tubers of yam belonging to the Chief Executive of Exopa Modelling Agency, Ibrahim Sima, tested positive for cocaine.

Mr Smith was testifying in the trial of Sima, who is alleged to have attempted to export substances believed to be narcotic drugs to Germany on September 7, 2009.

Sima, 39, was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport about 11 p.m. while he was going through departure formalities. He is currently on remand in police custody.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing narcotic drugs and attempting to export narcotic drugs without lawful authority.

Led by the prosecutor in his evidence-in-chief, Mr Smith told the court, presided by Mr Justice Charles Quist, that narcotic officers searched Sima’s travelling bags after he (Sima) had identified the bags as his own and had also stated that he had packed the bags himself.

According to the witness, Sima claimed ownership of the four tubers of yam which were found in his bag. During a careful scrutiny, it was observed that three of the yams had been cut open and re-sealed.

Mr Smith said he questioned Sima why the yam had been cut and re-sealed but Sima could not offer any explanation.

The witness informed the court that he used a knife to cut open the yam and it was then that he discovered the drugs which had been sealed in blue polythene bags.

He stated that he asked Sima why he had done that, to which Sima said he was hard pressed for money and was in debt.

He said Sima also told him that one Salifu at Nima had given him the drugs.

According to the witness, he and his colleagues accompanied Sima to his residence in Tema around 2 a.m. and a further search revealed varieties of yam similar to those which had been found on him at the airport and the glue which was used to reseal the yams.

Mr Smith said he had been in charge of the narcotics team which had been detailed at the airport on September 7, 2009, noting that on that fateful day the team had decided to target frequent travellers.

He said when Sima was questioned why he frequented Germany, he told the team that he had an agency in that country and that accounted for his frequent trips there.

During cross-examination from counsel for Sima, Mr James Agalga, the witness told the court that Sima had been spotted at the Departure Hall of the Kotoka International Airport on the day of his arrest.

Counsel is expected to continue cross-examining the witness on February 1, 2010.

Source: Daily Graphic