Cocaine hidden in shoes busted at Takoradi Port

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in the Western Region has impounded a container with parcels of substances confirmed to be cocaine at the Takoradi Port.

The container, which was documented to be carrying used shoes and sandals, came from Panama in Central America, where the illicit drug business is widespread.

It was impounded on the afternoon of Friday April 12, 2013 at the scan gate by customs officials at the Port.

Although a sample of the substance has been confirmed by the Narcotics Control Board to be cocaine, the quantity, the weight and the value, are yet to be determined as the officials are yet to carry out a full inspection of the container this afternoon.

The Sector Commander, Customs Division of the GRA in the Western Region, Fred Gavor, after being denied access into the port to observe the consignment with journalists, said a combined team of officials from the Narcotics Control Board, National Security and the Customs Division of the GRA, arrested the importer last night at his residence in Accra.

He said the importer was arrested with the help of the Agent who was to clear the goods. He could however not confirm immediately whether the agent was still being kept by NACOB after his statement was taken.

Details of the importer’s identity have not been released as investigations have begun into the matter.

“We are yet to conduct full examination on the container to confirm how much more we have in it. But as of now, what I have in my hands it’s a sample that has been bundled up so I cannot open it here now. In my hand is also a pair of lady’s sandals that was also taken from the container. The Bill of Laden said that it was a consignment of used shoes and sandals originating from Panama but the examination showed that it was just a way of concealing the cocaine. So from here we will go to the main Port to conduct full inspection of the container.

“We’ve got the importer and he is in the hands of the Ministries Police station in Accra. The agent is claiming he’s innocent. We haven’t gotten the full consignment yet so the weight of the cocaine can only be established after the full inspection” he noted.