The Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) has picked up some persons to help in its investigations after it intercepted 152kg of cocaine (15 slabs) in Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
Based on intelligence received, the NACOC, in a joint operation with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), seized the illegal substance which was concealed in a shipment of sugar from Brazil and which has a street value of about $15million.
A report on preliminary investigations by the NACOC said the said consignment of sugar was to be delivered to Tradepass Gh Limited.
A source close to the NACOC, who confirmed the arrest to the Daily Graphic, would, however, not indicate who and how many people had been picked up so far.
“We are investigating and we may make more arrests. We don’t want to give any lead for now,” the source explained.
The consignment with bill of laden number MEDUST209567 was shipped from Brazil by Usina Santa Isabel S/A Fazenda Tres, a Brazilian company on behalf of SUCDEN MIDDLE EAST, based in Dubai.
The shipment consists of 27,000 bags of Brazilian white crystal sugar, with a gross weight of 1,350 tonnes for a company in Tema as the consignee of the shipment.
The discovery, seizure and arrest were made on September 12 when the NACOC, acting on an intelligence, and with the support of the other security operatives, intercepted the substance from a consignment of sugar shipped into the country.
A statement signed by the Head of Communications and Media of the NACOC, Mr Francis Opoku Amoah, said the commission acted on an intelligence that a consignment of 50 containers of sugar destined for Ghana from Brazil were likely to have substances suspected to be narcotics.
“Acting on the intelligence, the NACOC, together with BNI and NSCS, mounted surveillance on the shipment until the suspected narcotic substances were retrieved from the consignment of sugar on Saturday, September 12, 2020.
It said with the assistance of some officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority stationed at the warehouse, a physical search on the suspected containers and the bags of sugar began on Thursday, September 10, 2020 and on Saturday, September 12, some substances were found concealed among some bags of sugar.
“The suspected narcotics substances were on Saturday, September 12, 2020, found concealed among the bags of sugar in container number MSCU6874205. Eight bags of sugar were identified to have suspected narcotic substances concealed in each.
“In all, 150 slabs of substances suspected to be narcotics were retrieved from the consignment under the joint operation and the exhibits field tested, proved positive for cocaine,” the statement indicated.
The NACOC took custody of the exhibits and subsequently forwarded same to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for analytical examination and report.
The report from the GSA on the exhibits confirmed the substances to be cocaine, with an approximate net weight of the 150 slabs being 152.75kg.