Customs arrest 3 foreigners for possessing mercury

The suspect. Inset;  The tins containing the liquid substanceThree foreigners who crossed into the country from Togo with a liquid substance suspected to be mercury, were arrested by the Customs officers at the Dabala check point on Friday.

The substance which weighs 56 kilogrammes has a street value of GH₵ 44,535.00.

The suspects are Hassan Jibril, 52, a Nigerian, Mussa Ibrahim, 44 and Mukaila Yakubu, 53, both nationals of Niger.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Customs (AC) Frank Cudjoe Ashong, Aflao Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) the three were travelling from Aflao to Accra with the liquid in two tins concealed in sacks.

The Sector Commander said that mercury was a restricted substance which could be used to manufacture bombs, prospect for gold and used by criminal gangs to produce fake currencies.

“You must have a permit from the Chief Inspector of Mines before you deal in it,” he explained.

He said that when the vehicle, a Toyota Corolla S with registration number, GY 2343 – 13 pulled up at the barrier, Customs officers on duty conducted a search on the vehicle and spotted the sacks containing the tins and probed further to discover the substance.

According to him, the three men readily claimed ownership of the substance and were subsequently arrested.

AC Ashong said that the suspects, who were all based in Lome, were brought to the Aflao border post where they were detained overnight before handed over to the police.

He said that the liquid substance would be tested at the GRA laboratory.

AC Ashong told the Ghanaian Times that although the three men claimed ownership of the substance, they gave no tangible reason for possessing it.

He said that one of the suspects told Customs officers that they bought the substance earlier from a dealer in Accra and on reaching Lome they realised that it was fake, and so they were sending it back to the dealer in Accra for a refund of their money.

Another suspect said that he was a jeweller and used mercury for his business.

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Aflao


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