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Court discharges 2 in arms trafficking case

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Court discharges 2 in arms trafficking case
Court discharges 2 in arms trafficking case

The Accra Circuit Court has discharged two of the nine persons accused of illegally dealing in firearms and ammunition.

Michael Akwasi Sakyi and Nancy Ashong were discharged by the court, presided over by Rosemary Baah Tosu, after the prosecution dropped the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition against them.

The two had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and had consistently maintained that they were innocent.

With the two discharged, the prosecution has filed a new charge sheet with the seven others which includes a soldier as the accused persons.

They are Cpl Arafat Kunde, Mahama Makabool, Alex Dotse, ex-Lance Corporal Ato Rahman Iddrisu, alias W.O. Rahman, a retired soldier (at large), James Mawuena (at large), Akwesi, aka Upgrade (at large), and Joseph Papa Quansah (at large).

Surveillance

Presenting the facts of the case when the case was initially called, the Prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sylvester Asare, said in January last year the police received information about some group of persons who were illegally dealing in firearms and ammunition.

The police, he said, mounted surveillance which led to the arrest of Ashong on February 18 last year.

A search, he said, revealed 24,000 rounds of AK 47 ammunition in her kitchen.

DSP Asare said Ashong, upon interrogation, mentioned one Makbool, also in police custody, as the person who kept the boxes in her kitchen.

A search in Makbool's room also revealed one pistol with serial number FBU 2848.

“After police interrogations, Makbool mentioned one Captain Arafat Kunde of the Ghana Armed Forces as the person who supplied him with the boxes of AK 47,” he said.

He said Captain Kunde also supplied Makbool with two SMG assault rifles.

According to the prosecutor, Captain Kunde, during interrogation, then mentioned two of the accused persons — Akwesi and Dotse — along with others who are currently on the run as his source of supply.

He said Akwesi, during investigation, stated that Captain Kunde was his bodyguard although he remained silent on the source of the weapons and ammunition.

DSP Asare continued that preliminary investigations by the police also revealed that when Captain Kunde was in custody, Akwesi arranged with one Novor to discharge the remaining five boxes of AK 47 ammunition kept in Captain Kunde's rooms at Spintex Road.

“Efforts are, however, being made by the police to apprehend the others at large,” he added.