|Parcels of Suspected Substances|
Officers of the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the last three weeks have intercepted close to 2-tonnes (approximately 2000kg) of substances suspected to be India hemp at the Asikuma checkpoint in the Asougyaman district of the Eastern region.
A KIA truck with registration GE 9311-10 loaded with about 200 bags of charcoal was intercepted on November 26, with parcels of compressed substances concealed in 21 bags and stacked between the bags of charcoal in the truck.
Also last Saturday, a Hyundai truck with registration E.R 795 X, which was stopped at the checkpoint for inspection, sped off, this caused the custom officers to give it a hot chase for about 15km and burst the tyres with gunshots. A search conducted on the vehicle revealed parcels of compressed substances also suspected to be India hemp were that stuffed in 16 sacks.
|Substances packed in Sacks|
Similar substances stuffed in school bags, cartons and ladies bags were also intercepted at various times in some passenger vehicles during inspections at the check point.
The 21 bags of the suspected India hemp, which weighs about 1.3 tonnes (1308 kg), have since been transferred to the custom warehouse in Ho, whiles that of the 16 sacks which are yet to be examined is estimated to weigh about 400kg. Both truck drivers however absconded but efforts are being made to trace the vehicle owners.
The substances are believed to have been coming from communities around the Volta Lake including Gemeni in the South Dayi District where charcoal are mostly transported from to Accra.
Briefing pressmen on Monday about the Seizure, Mr. William Apeadu, Chief Revenue Officer of the Custom Division, observed that narcotics smuggling is on the rise during this period of the year but assured that the agency is poised to effectively clump down on such illegal businesses, which is denting the country’s image.
“Persons who are engaged in this illicit trade should know that their days are numbered, they rather quit, and do something better with their lives because we are coming after them” he warned.
He also appealed to the public to volunteer information about individuals who are engaging in cultivation and smuggling of the illicit substances.
Mr. Samuel Ocloo a custom officer incahrge of the Asikuma checkpoint also appealed to the travelling public to cooperate with officers at various checkpoints during inspections of vehicles.