Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Milking The State Dry: Cocoa ‘Thieves Grabbed 400 Bags Meant for Exportation Diverted

4:28:00 PM

The sharp fall of the financial gains in governments investments in cocoa production, under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration seem to have been linked to only administrative negligence and corrupt practices at the top management level, not considering the many grassroots rot that virtually shot the industry to the brink of collapse.

One of such back-stabbing rot is how Cocoa bought from farmers in some rural parts of the Ashanti Region, meant for exportation were stolen by a ring of criminals who allegedly claim to have links with some top notches in the past government.

A special operations by this reporter and the Governments Task Force team (specialoperations), led by Dasebre Kwabena Ahenkorah, National Commander of the Vehicle Task Force team,  exposes how a forty-feet container loaded with bags of cocoa beans, meant for exportation, shockingly got missing at the Tema Harbor.

On the 29th of December 2016, the team monitored the operations of a cartel of criminals led by one Sammy and Boateng, who secretly managed to transfer about four hundred (400) bags of cocoa beans to a hide-out at Spintex (Coca Cola area), a suburb of Accra.

When they got to the hide-out, the group leader, Sammy, organized his boys to offload the container and changed the original sacks which had governments embossed seals and replaced them with new fertilizer sacks.

As early as 4 a.m. the next morning, they had already arranged with a potential buyer called Yaya, so they transported the goods to Mamponten-Ankasi Mpobi (Ashanti region) where he (Yaya) lived.

The goods were packed into two cargo tracks, with Sammy sitting in one and Boateng in the other track.

On the 8th January when Sammy was arrested by the team, he confessed to have led the syndicate and that, the goods had been sold to Yaya at an amount of GHc400, per bag.

He said he employed the services of a commercial driver who charged him GHc1900 from the harbor to his Spintex hideout.

Sammy claimed to have also engaged the services of a fork lifter to remove the heavy container from the truck at a cost of GHc3900.

Leading the Governments Operations Team to Yaya, he also confirmed to have bought the bags of cocoa from Sammy and Boateng.

Yaya , in a 30 minute interrogation by the Task Force, also confessed, selling the cocoa to another buyer at a price of GHc 475 at Mamponten Ankaase Mpobi.

The buyer, a government representative, when contacted also claimed to have loaded the cocoa beans back to the Tema Harbour, leaving only 133 bags with him.

The rest of the 133 bags have now been lodged at the Mamponten police station, in the Ashanti region, pending investigations.

Stay tuned.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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