2 Cocaine Importers Jailed 35 Years

Mila Roland (second from left),Captain of the ship and Seth Grant (right),being taken to Nsawam to begin their sentence.Photo.Ebo GormanTwo of the five persons standing trial for importing narcotic   substances believed to be cocaine into the country last year, were yesterday sentenced to a total of 35 years imprisonment in hard labour by an Accra High Court.

The court, presided over by Justice C. J. Hoenye-nugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, sentenced the two, Mila Roland, Captain of the ship and Seth Grant, to  20 and 15 years, respectively, on three counts of criminal conspiracy, importation of illicit drugs and unlawful entry.

Judgement was given shortly after an independent counting of the parcels containing the substances and field test  by officials of Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with the assistance of the Narcotics Control Authority, proved that the substances were cocaine.

The three other accused, were   Perceval Curt, Samuel Mornty and Saint Praimchad, all Guyanese, who  remanded into prison custody to appear again before the court on January 10, 2014.

Before passing sentence, Justice Hoenyenugah said the  court, upon further perusal of the statements of the first, fourth and fifth accused could not  sentence them  because their statements amounted to plea of not guilty and therefore a full scale trial needed to be carried out before judgment could be passed.

The three, with their Ghanaian counterpart, Seth Grant, were arrested by Ghanaian security personnel  on board a Guyanese ship, ATTIYAH-George-Town, on Tuesday, November  19, 2013 in the Western Region, with 21 bags of the narcotics worth 60 million US dollars.

The vessel was arrested by the Ghana Navy upon a tip-off by Ghana’s international security partners when sailing from Guyana to an unknown destination and brought to the   Sekondi Naval base and later to Accra, where they were handed over to the National Security and Narcotics Control Authority.

He said given the prevalence of the offence, reputation of the country, the cost and volume of the drugs, the law must take its full course to serve as deterrent to others.

He said on Friday the court would deThe Cocaine  set ablazelve deeper into the case to determine whether the three had circumstantial knowledge of the cocaine or not.

At the last adjourned sitting, the three pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, explaining that they had no idea about the contents of the parcels, and also drew  the judge’s attention to the fact that they had no legal representation  during  their first appearance on November 22.

Meanwhile, Justice Hoenyenugah has ordered the immediate destruction of the substances in the full glare of the media, officials of GSA, Narcotics Control Authority and the court registrar, on the beach. By Malik Sullemana                                                 


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