General News of Friday, 19 April 2013
Officials of the Takoradi Port have busted narcotics which have been certified to be cocaine with a street value of $60,000.
This was detected after a 20-footer container from Panama supposedly containing slippers and shoes arrived at the habour last Friday, April 12, 2013.
They were discovered during the scanning process, which was conducted by staff of Nick TC-Scan, who have been contracted by the government to scan containers at the various entry points of the country, including the Takoradi, Tema habours and the Kotoka International Airport.
Owner of the container, whose name has been given as Charles Antwi-Boasiako, has since been arrested and handed over to the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) for the further investigations.
Antwi-Boasiako, who is said to be an Accra-based businessman with a number of warehouses on the Spintex Road, was said to have imported the cargo into the country using a company by name East & West Investments.
This was after the agent of Mawul Frieght Agency, the company that handled the cargo was arrested.
Recently, 397 kilos of cannabis were seized at the Aviance cargo village at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
This development has led to tightened security at the airport.
Most importers have resorted to using the Takoradi Port because the situation is porous.
Sources noted that most of the goods that arrive at the Takoradi habour are cleared at the back door and do not go through the scanning process to ascertain their content, resulting in financial loss to the state.
Most of these shady deals, according to the source, are reached between importers and officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
“A lot of deals are going on there”, one worker at the habour told the paper.
He therefore stressed the urgent need for security to be tightened at the habour to ensure that virtually all goods are made to pass through the scan machines.