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12 arrested for cocoa smuggling attempt in Kwahu South

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Twelve (12) people are currently in police custody following an attempt to bribe personnel of the National Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce at Kwahu Adawso in the Kwahu South Municipality of the Eastern Region.

The 12 are alleged to be part of a cocoa smuggling syndicate and were arrested upon intelligence after they tried smuggling out 400 bags of cocoa beans.

It was a joint operation of personnel from the Ministry of National Security, the Formed Police Unit, and the Ghana Cocoa Board that intercepted two trucks, with registration numbers AS 2653-12 and GS 4220-12, loaded with the cocoa beans bound for Togo.

Those arrested include drivers, mates, Boat operators, and loading boys who were busted while attempting to offload the cocoa beans.

The Chairman of the Kwahu South Municipal Security Council, Emmanuel Atta Ofori Snr. briefing the media on the arrest, commended the security for still going ahead to arrest the suspects after they were offered GH¢80,000 in bribes.

“We have arrested 12 people who are currently in police custody and I am keenly interested in the outcome so I will monitor the proceedings to make sure the sanctioned laws of the land are tested. I am therefore appealing to the prosecution and judiciary to swiftly adjudicate issues of national concern like this particular one in order for all necessary sanctions and punishment to be meted out to the culprits when found guilty because they are causing financial loss to the state.

“Last month, we made a similar arrest on the ferry, which was a cargo vehicle. We have arrested a tipper truck too, but today it is a Kia Rhino smuggling cocoa, which is an indication that the smugglers are really in business I want to use this medium to announce to them that the Kwahu South Municipal Security Council will not relent but pursue them anytime they want to transit their smuggled goods through our municipality.

This latest arrest is the third in less than two months in the Kwahu South Municipality.The cocoa beans are often smuggled from Suhum through Adawso to Togo via Dzemeni in the Kwahu Afram Plains enclave.

Mr. Atta Ofori Snr. urged his fellow MMDCEs and the state security services to be more patriotic in the fight against cocoa smuggling and also passionately pleaded with the judiciary to act swiftly on this issue to serve as a deterrent to those involved in the act.

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