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5 jailed 60 years for importing cocaine

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In a recent development, five businessmen who were apprehended at the Kotoka International Airport in 2019 for importing 2,200 grams of cocaine have now been convicted and collectively sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison.

The convicted individuals include Frank Asante (First Accused), Kweku Antwi (2nd Accused, currently on bail), Alhassan Iddrisu (3nd Accused), Clifford Boakye (4th Accused), and Isaac Kwakye (5th Accused).

The conviction follows their guilt on three counts, including conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of a narcotic, importation of narcotic drugs, and possession of narcotic drugs, after a full trial at the High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.

Justice Osei Marfo imposed a minimum sentence of 10 years each on all the convicts under the old Narcotics Control Law PNDC law 236, which has since been amended by Act 1019. She explained that the punishment under the old law was less severe than the new law, and anyone convicted for possession and importation of narcotic drugs faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The Court considered mitigation factors and the conduct of the convicts during bail and court attendance. While the four present in court were sentenced concurrently, Kweku Antwi, the 2nd Accused who jumped bail, is to serve his punishment consecutively upon arrest, resulting in a 20-year sentence.

Brief facts of the case indicate that the businessmen were involved in importing and dealing narcotics from Brazil and other countries. Surveillance was conducted on Frank Asante and his accomplices, leading to their arrest at Kotoka International Airport in July 2019. The substances found in their possession were tested positive for cocaine.

The court also took into account the substances discovered at the residences of the 3rd accused, including backpacks, weighing scales, passports, and gallons containing liquid substances. The substances were sent to the Ghana Standards Authority for analytical examination, confirming the presence of cocaine with an 82.5% purity and a net weight of 2,200.0 grams.

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