500kg of cocaine worth $30 million vanishes from Tema Port - Report

500kg of cocaine worth $30 million vanishes from Tema Port - Report

- 500 Kilogrammess worth of cocaine is said to have disappeared from the Tema Port

- The street value of the drugs is estimated at $30 million

- NACOB, BNI and customs have launched an investigation into the disappearance.

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About 500 kilogrammes of cocaine worth over $30 million have reportedly vanished from the Tema Port.

According to the Finder newspaper which reported the news, 10 bags of cocaine, each weighing 50kg with an estimated total street value of $30 million were hidden in a consignment of rice.

But the drugs vanished before law enforcement agencies could impound it, YEN.com.gh understands.

The report said the ship carrying the container which had the cocaine arrived at the port in December 2016.

For two months, the owner of the container did not show up to enable the authorities inspect it, so it was placed under 24-hour surveillance.

However, on February 23, 2017, customs decided to conduct a mandatory inspection of the container only to discover that the 10 bags of cocaine had disappeared.

K9 dogs which are specially trained to detect cocaine reportedly confirmed traces of cocaine in the container.

The UK’s Operation West Bridge is said to have also conducted tests on the container, which also confirmed traces of cocaine.

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and Ghana Customs Service have reportedly launched an investigation into the cocaine's disappearance.

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This is not the first time cocaine has disappeared from the nation's ports.

In 2006, a vessel, the MV Benjamin, reportedly carrying about 77 parcels of cocaine, with each parcel weighing 30 kilogrammes, docked at Kpone/Tema and discharged the parcels.

Although government agencies had been alerted by foreign anti-drugs agencies to the presence of cocaine on the vessel while it was still at sea, it managed to dock and offload the hard drug, which was then loaded into a car and transported away.

The disappearance of the cocaine led to the setting up of the Justice Georgina Wood Committee and the subsequent trial of persons alleged to have played various roles in its trafficking.

In July 2008, the Accra Fast Track High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, convicted and sentenced all crew members of the MV Benjamin to 25 years imprisonment each with hard labour.

They are Joseph Kojo Dawson, the owner of the MV Benjamin and managing director of Dashment Company Limited; Isaac Arhin, a sailor; Phillip Bruce Arhin, a mechanic; Cui Xian Li, the vessel engineer, and Luo Yui Xing, a sailor.

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