The trial of the 46-year-old businessman arrested for allegedly exporting 6,240kgs of cannabis sativa, a narcotic drug worth $20m, to the United Kingdom could not come off as both parties were absent in court.
Surprisingly, neither the accused, Kofi Appianin Ennin, his lawyer Kwame Boafo Akuffo nor Fred K. Awindago, Assistant State Attorney in the case, was in court when the case was due for hearing.
This compelled the Accra Fast Track High Court judge, Justice Abdullai Iddrisu, to adjourn proceedings to July 23, 2015.
The trial judge ordered that the parties be served with hearing notices.
The accused was arrested through a collaboration between the UK security agencies and Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) after he had successfully left the shores of Ghana to that country.
Ennin is facing a two-count charge of exportation of narcotic drugs without license from the Ministry of Health and possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.
According to the prosecution, Ennin, between January 15 and 29, 2014 at the Takoradi Harbour, exported 6,240kgs of the drug from Ghana to the UK without license.
It also alleged that between15th January and 10th February, 2015, the accused, using the Takoradi Harbour, again exported three tonnes (3000kgs) of the drug to the same country without license.
Ennin has, however, denied the offence.
NACOB in 2014 received intelligence report from the UK that a 20-footer container numbered MSCU 0186777 had been intercepted.
The prosecution said the container was supposed to have 112 sacks of gari, but the sacks were stuffed with compressed cannabis sativa (wee) weighing 6,240kgs.
The recipient of the said container mentioned the suspect as the one who exported the said cargo.
The prosecution said between January 15 and February 10, 2015, whilst investigations were underway, another 40-footer container numbered MORU: 1114371 was intercepted at London Gatwick, adding that the said container revealed 1,000 cartons of yam, 53 bags of gari and a total of 3,000kgs of compressed wee concealed in the boxes of yam.
He stated that documents covering the shipment were received and the freight forwarder in Ghana was contacted. The freight forwarder mentioned Ennin as the one who assigned him to do the exportation on his behalf.
The prosecution said the freight forwarder led the investigator to the warehouse of Ennin at Asheyei on the Accra-Dodowa road, where the packaging of the consignment was carried out.
He stated that surveillance was mounted at the warehouse and in the house of Ennin, indicating that on June 2, 2015 the accused was lured from his hideout to the warehouse and was arrested.
The prosecution said when Ennin’s warehouse was searched, a number of cardboards with the label, ‘Fresh Yam Products of Ghana’, Jute sacks and plain polythene materials which were used in packaging the compressed cannabis in the yams were found.
Upon interrogation, Ennin mentioned one Jay as the owner.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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