Man jailed 10 years for attempting to smuggle cocaine

The Criminal Division of Accra High Court has sentence Pascal Okafor Ezug­wu, to a 10-year prison term for attempting to smuggle cocaine weighing 1.54 kilogrammes, out of Ghana.

Ezugwu, 32-year-old Nigeri­an, was arrested after expelling 90 thumb-sized cocaine pellets, at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra, on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Narcotic Control Com­mission (NACOC), copied to the Ghanaian Times, in Accra yesterday, said Ezugwu, who was sentenced on May 3, and also fined GH¢1,200,000, and would in default, serve additional three years in prison.

The Commission said the court also ordered the destruction of the exhibit, which should be supervised by all the interested stakeholders in the presence of the court registrar, state prosecutors and the defence counsel.

The statement said Ezug­wu was arrested by officers of NACOC, at the KIA, when he was going through pre-boarding formalities at the departure hall to board a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam, at KIA.

The statement said a urine test conducted on him revealed traces of narcotic substances.

The Commission said Ezugwu­later expelled a total of 90 thumb- sized pellets during observation by officers, and a field test of the pellets proved positive for cocaine.

The NACOC said he was subsequently detained and charged with three counts of narcotic offences, relating to unlawful possession, attempted exporta­tion of narcotic drugs and money laundering.

The statement indicated that Ezugwu was taken to the High Court, where he pleaded guilty to all three counts, and was convicted and sentenced on his own plea.

The NACOC re-affirmed its commitment to protecting the public from the trafficking and use of illicit drugs, thereby ensuring public safety.

The Commission emphasised that the possession, usage, and transportation of illegal drugs without lawful authorisa­tionremained prohibited under sections 40 (1) and 41 (1) of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020.

The statement urged the gen­eral public to be aware of the consequences and risks associat­ed with offences relating to drug use and transpor­tation.


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