General News of Monday, 12 January 2015
Private legal practitioner, Bright Akwetey says convicted drug courier, Nayele Ametefe faces an uphill task in convincing authorities here in Ghana that her properties were not acquired using proceeds from the drug trade.
He indicated that, “one might have entered the drug trade maybe at the age of 40 or 35 when he or she would have acquired some properties already, but the onus will be on the convict to show that these properties were acquired legitimately with hard earned funds and not with proceeds from drug trade.”
Mr. Akwetey explained that having been convicted in the UK under the present circumstances, it presents a case for authorities in Ghana to continue with the process already initiated to seize her landed properties.
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) is on record to have posted notices at some known properties of Nayele indicating their intention to confiscate such properties.
Following arguments of the appropriateness of NACOB’s action, Mr. Akwetey insists the board is not wrong in initiating such an action.
“Once you are convicted of a drug offence, the court convicting you can make an order for a confiscation of your properties; then your properties will be traced wherever they will be found and confiscated,” he said.
“I know there is a similar situation with the Amoateng case…but you are convicted and the order is made for the confiscation of your assets, your assets will be traced and confiscated to the state,” he added.
The mother of jailed cocaine courier, Nayele Ametefe, was to be processed for court today, following her release from Police custody last Friday.
The woman in question was arrested for allegedly assaulting officials from the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) when they visited the airport residence to post a seizure notice on the property.
The Commander in charge of the Airport Police, Chief Superintendent Yao Tettehgah, told Citi News, the investigator on the case is still gathering evidence hence the seeming delay.
He recalled that after NACOB officials had reported the case to his outfit, he dispatched his personnel to the woman’s house where she was arrested, brought to the station and her statement taken.
She was later granted bail and asked to come back to the Police station later for the continuation of the investigations.
According Chief Supt. Tettehgah, the case is an assault case and investigations are still ongoing to ascertain the truth of the matter.
He said the case can only be forwarded to the law courts after the investigator gathers all the evidence from all other possible witnesses.
“The investigator has to indicate to me that he has finished his work and further instructions will be given to him. When that is done, then we can forward the case to court for further action,” he explained.
Nayele Ametefe is currently serving jail time in the UK for attempting to smuggle 12 kilograms of cocaine into the UK last November.
Following her sentencing, NACOB posted confiscation notices on all her buildings, both in Accra and her hometown.
During this operation by NACOB, some officials were reported to have been assaulted by Nayele’s mother; an incident which was subsequently reported to the Airport Police.
Properties belonging to persons convicted of narcotic related offences are to be confiscated by the state according to Sections 13, 14, 17 and 18 of Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) law – 1990 (PNDCL 236).
The Board, NACOB, has thus resorted to the court to secure a court order to enable them confiscate the properties.