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12 apprehended for attempting to smuggle 400 bags of Cocoa beans

In a significant crackdown on cocoa smuggling, twelve individuals are now in police custody after attempting to bribe members of the National Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce in Kwahu Adawso, within the Kwahu South Municipality of the Eastern Region.

Cocoa Beans

The suspects were apprehended following an operation that intercepted their attempt to smuggle 400 bags of cocoa beans.

The detainees are alleged members of a cocoa smuggling syndicate, apprehended while attempting to smuggle 400 bags of cocoa beans. Acting on intelligence, the operation was a joint effort involving the Ministry of National Security, the Formed Police Unit, and the Ghana Cocoa Board.

They intercepted two trucks, registered AS 2653-12 and GS 4220-12, loaded with cocoa beans destined for Togo.

The arrested individuals include drivers, mates, boat operators, and loading boys, caught in the act of offloading the cocoa beans.

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Emmanuel Atta Ofori Snr., Chairman of the Kwahu South Municipal Security Council, commended the security forces for proceeding with the arrests despite being offered a bribe of GH¢80,000.

"We have arrested 12 people who are currently in police custody. I am keenly interested in the outcome and will monitor the proceedings to ensure the laws of the land are upheld. I appeal to the prosecution and judiciary to swiftly address issues of national concern like this one so that appropriate sanctions and punishments are imposed on the culprits when found guilty," he stated. "These actions are causing financial loss to the state."

He added, "Last month, we made a similar arrest on a ferry, which was a cargo vehicle. We have also apprehended a tipper truck, and today it is a Kia Rhino smuggling cocoa. This indicates that the smugglers are active. The Kwahu South Municipal Security Council will not relent but will pursue them anytime they attempt to transit their smuggled goods through our municipality."

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

Mr. Atta Ofori Snr. urged his fellow MMDCEs and state security services to adopt a patriotic stance in the fight against cocoa smuggling. He also appealed to the judiciary to expedite the legal process related to these arrests to serve as a deterrent to others involved in such illegal activities.

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