LAST TANGO: Nayeli Ametefeh aka Angel aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi
Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that drug baroness Nayeli Ametefeh aka Angel aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, who was arrested at the Heathrow Airport in London for possessing 12.5 kilos of cocaine, had a whopping $64,000 in her possession at the time of her arrest.
Additionally, the 32-year-old was said to have £6,000 on her, which were all confiscated by the British Drug Enforcement Administration upon her arrest on November 10 last year.
She was due for sentencing at the Isleworth Crown Court in London yesterday after pleading guilty on her first appearance in the court on November 27, 2014, but her sentencing was deferred by the court yesterday and rescheduled for today after her lawyer had asked for the adjournment.
The cocaine queen is listed on the court’s cause list on case number T20141080 and identified as 88NC0093814.
Reports from London said Ruby was indisposed and her Jamaican-born lawyer had reportedly requested a new date from the court which was set for today.
The court, presided over by Judge Edmunds QC, had also deferred the sentencing to enable the prosecutor, Ravinder John, to establish whether the substance in possession of Ruby was indeed cocaine; and if so, ascertain the purity, quantity and value of the banned narcotic drug for the court to determine the matter.
The case is listed in court 7 and scheduled for today, Tuesday, 6/01/15 at 2:00pm, according to Godwin Adjei-Gyamfi, a former Senior Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service, UK.
Mr Adjei-Gyamfi said prosecutors had requested the extra day to complete a valuation of the drug. The full valuation is that the drug in total is worth £1.87 million.
Change Of Plea
Unconfirmed reports suggested that Ruby may want to change her earlier guilty plea. A call was said to have been made to the court on Friday, January 2, 2015 that she indeed wished to vacate her early guilty plea.
The court was yet to inform the CPS formally because the staff who received the call was not sure of the authenticity of the said call, Mr Adjei-Gyamfi said.
If she maintains her early guilty plea, she is looking between nine and 10 years with a discount for early guilty plea.
However if she fights the case and she is found guilty, she may be looking at 13 years in prison.
Reports from London said some Ghanaians interested in the case thronged the Isleworth courts to catch a glimpse of Ruby, who at the last sitting only appeared before the judge through a video link from her prison cell, but were disappointed when the case was not even listed on the cause list for the day.
A Ghanaian journalist, Nana Ansah Oboufour, who works with Naspa Radio in London, told various networks in Accra that everyone following the case expressed surprise at the latest development.
‘Ghanaians in the UK are confused, because almost everyone who was at the court on 27th November, 2014 was preparing to go to the court on Monday (January 5, 2014) but were surprised when they heard the news that it was shifted to January 6, 2015,’ he said.
The source said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which is the equivalent of the Attorney General’s Department, was still not certain about the assets of Ruby anywhere in the world, as they were yet to come across any known assets of the accused.
It was also revealed that there was no evidence as to how Ruby came on the radar or to the attention of the authorities other than what the CPS said to the effect that ‘she was intercepted coming from a flight.”
A source said when Ruby was asked how she paid for her flight to London, she answered, “No comment’, even though she was on record as having travelled on a business ticket on the BA078 flight from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra.
The source further said she was indicted under the name Nayeli Ametefeh and the two passports seized were Republic of Ghana Passport GO364497 and an Austrian Passport P4187659.
On the Diplomatic passport bit, the source said ‘we will never get to the bottom of the issue as to whether the lady arrested was in possession of a diplomatic passport. Equally, I am disappointed with the standard of investigation into her arrest.’
Reports said other than the preliminary valuation on the drugs, no final valuation had been conducted as of yet, which was required for the sentencing and it would not be out of place if today’s hearing is once again adjourned.
Ruby and her alleged gang of drug smugglers indeed used the highly restricted Very Very Important Personality (VVIP) section of the KIA, reserved for the President and his top ministers, to board flight BA078 to London on November 9.
However, to avoid a political backlash and international embarrassment, the NDC government hurriedly organised a simulation exercise, taking the suspects to the crime scene in an attempt to make it appear as if the suspects had used the VIP instead.
Sadalia Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah, the two other ladies who had travelled with Ruby to London but escaped to Ghana and who were used for the simulation exercise, were currently on bail after being put before an Accra circuit court for abetting the baroness.
A certain Alhaji Dawood Mohammed, who arranged the VVIP passage for Ruby and her girls, as well as Abiel Ashitey Armah, Foreign Service Officer in charge of the VVIP Lounge, Ahmed Abubakar, a protocol officer and Theophilius Kissi, an airport staff, had all been granted bail pending trial.
By William Yaw Owusu
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