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Two ‘cocaine pushers’ arraigned before court

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

A woman alleged to be the courier for drug barons and a man alleged to be a drug dealer were on Thursday, January 18, 2019, arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit crime and possession of a narcotic drug without lawful authority.

Juliet Atuah Mandoh and Nana Kwesi Owusu pleaded not guilty to both charges when they appeared before the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Charles Ekow Baiden.

It is the case of the prosecution that Owusu gave Mandoh 93 pellets of cocaine to ingest and send to the United Kingdom (UK).

According to the prosecution, a test conducted by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) confirmed that the drug was, indeed, cocaine with a 72.3 per cent purity.
At the hearing, the court remanded the two in prison custody for them to reappear on January 31, 2019.

Their lawyers are expected to move for bail for them at the next hearing.

Alleged deal

The facts, as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Watkins Adama, a state attorney, were that Mandoh was a courier who ingested and sent drugs to the United States of America (USA) and European countries for a fee.

On December 2, 2018, Owusu was said to have approached Mandoh that he wanted her to send drugs to the UK for him.

He then took her to a hotel at Achimota on December 6, 2018 and gave her 93 pellets which she ingested in his presence.

The prosecutor said afterwards, Owusu drove her to the Kotoka International Airport to board a flight to the UK.

When they got to the airport, Owusu called a gentleman in the airport and gave $1,000 to Mandoh to be given to the gentleman and also gave her £1,000 as part payment for taking the illicit drug to the UK.

The prosecutor explained that during the check-in procedure, Owusu got a call informing him that it was not conducive for Mandoh to check in and board the flight and so Owusu and Mandoh sped off from the airport to a hotel at Accra New Town.

Owusu left the hotel after collecting the money he had given to Mandoh, leaving her behind at the hotel.

At the hotel, Mandoh expelled six of the pellets and put them in her handbag.

Busted

Mr Adama further told the court that officers of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), through investigations, arrested Mandoh and found the six pellets of cocaine in her handbag.

The officers then placed Mandoh under surveillance and granted her an enquiry bail on December 11, 2018.

On January 2, 2019, the officers were able to trace Owusu to his house at East Legon and arrested him.

According to Mr Adama, the NACOB officers found $1,000 and £1,000 in Owusu’s house after a search.

Owusu, he said, admitted that the money was what he had given to Mandoh and also admitted that he had given the 93 pellets of cocaine to Mandoh to ingest.

“He also said the illicit drug was given to him by a Nigerian at Lapaz in Accra,” the prosecutor added.

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