True Account Of Asem Dakey & Missing 77 Parcels Of Cocaine...NPP Govt's Complicity (1)

The mystery surrounding the Limping Man Asem Dakey, a.k.a Sheriff, has begun to unfold once again. This mystery gripped the conscience of our countrymen, when at the height of cocaine-flooded cases in 2006; the prime suspect in the biggest cocaine haulage into West Africa outwitted the Police investigators and absconded into hiding in Benin. Ghanaians were shocked anytime an account of how this Limping Man managed to escape arrest was given. Many of us who followed the era of cocaine boom in Ghana, under NPP’s John Agyekum Kufuor-regime, found it puzzling how a wanted criminal was put under surveillance, spotted in Ada, not arrested, but traced even when he took off towards Accra, till he parked his fast-running 4x4 Jeep in the middle of the Tema-Accra motorway, crossed to the Accra-Tema motorway end, where there was another Toyota Landcruiser waiting for him and within a flash, the Limping Man drove off towards Tema, leaving the CID officers watching him in admiration and totally stupefied. It was mind-boggling indeed, and could only speak of official complicity instead of ineptitude on the part of the CID officials. So to succeed in arresting Asem Dakey, seven years after this ‘huhudious’ escape, the vigilant security agencies have done a great job, gifting the NDC with a fantastic opportunity to tilt the scales of political pressure and clear the path for campaign on the promises and achievements of the Prof Mills led administration. Alfred Woyome’s GHc51 million unjustified payment, is a big issue today. But the cost of having 77 parcels of cocaine (33 kilograms each) imported into the country to destroy the youth in particular, far outweigh the GHc51 million. Facts is, the social cost and the destruction of potential manpower is far more costly than GHc51 million. Obviously Asem Darkey has loads of information and it will be in the interest of government, its communication team stays away from becoming the Limping Man’s spokespersons, else they descend into trouble. They must allow the Limping Man to have his days in the court and subsequently in the media. They must allow ‘Sheriff’ to enjoy the front page attention, only when he drops the bombs. They must allow the security agencies and the prosecutor’s office to speak to the issues. The MV Benjamin Cocaine shipment which triggered series of drug scandals in 2006, rivals the current Alfred Woyome judgment debt scandal. The Georgina Wood Committee Report, as shambolic as it turned out to be, was clearly as a result of the escape of Asem Dakey, who together with his Korean partner imported the 77 parcels of cocaine from Venezuela, using the shipping vessel MV Benjamin, to transport the consignment. It is important to note that the Ship which left Venezuela and headed towards the West African coast (got rebranded on the high seas with a change of name) was traced by British Intelligence which pre-informed the Narcotics Control Board to be on the alert. On 26th April 2006, the fishing vessel christened MV Benjamin with 77 parcels of cocaine (each parcel contained 30 kilogrammes) finally berthed at the Tema Harbour breakwaters, and the parcels offloaded into two canoes which sailed under the cover of darkness to Kpone Paradise Beach. Some police officers at the Tema New Town Police Station, D/Sgt. Amoah, Sgt. David Nyarko, L/Cpl/ Dwamena Yebson and L/Cpl Peter Bondorin, and others got a tip-off and proceeded to Kpone with the “intent” to arrest the carriers. The requested assistance from Kpone Police Station came and met the Limping Man and others offloading the drugs into two vans parked at the beach. Instead of the police officers arresting Asem Dakey and the drugs together with his accomplices, they rather entered into an agreement with the suspect to carry on with his “business” for a bribe later. Simply put the carting of the drugs was done under the supervision of those Police Officers (who claimed they thought the goods were fish). After offloading, Asem Dakey picked the police officers and the three fishermen informants into his Toyota Landcruiser, then parked at the beach, and proceeded with them to his house at Community 5, Tema. He returned later and handed over a polythene bag containing unspecified cash in US Dollars to Sgt. Amoah and his group including the fishermen. The group, led by Sgt. Amoah, left and re-grouped near the Tema Oil Refinery to share the money. Upon a tip-off by a second group of fishermen, the police officers and others including the owner of the vessel, Joseph Kojo Dawson, and the crew were all arrested and tried without Asem Dake who escaped arrest. It was a headline-grabbing case steeped in politics in which politicians from both sides of the political divide sought to make some inroads and which greatly benefitted the President Mills campaign two years after. An attempt by the then Director of Police Operations, ACP (now DCoP) Nathan Kofi Boakye, to unravel the mystery surrounding the MV Benjamin led him to inviting Alhaji Issah Abass, Kwabena Amaning a.k.a Tagor, Kwabena Achaempong and Alhaji Moro (known drug dealers), to his office on the third floor of the Police Headquarters and proceeded to his official residence for a more relaxed and friendly chat as to how the 77 parcels could be located. The Police Operations Commander directed the men (he claimed he suspected of having vital information about the underground world) to keep their ears on the ground and brief him on any information they will pick up concerning the 77 parcels. He assured them of excellent Police protection, should the Venezuelans and Koreans he believe imported the consignment ‘try to prove stubborn.’ The fact as it turned out to be was, Issah Abass tipped-off the Director of Operations of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Benjamin Ndego, on the impending meeting with the Police Chief. A tape recorder was then given to Abass to record the entire conversation which took place at the meeting. Ndego was said to have shouted: “We’ve got him now, we’ll see,” when the tape was played for the first time at the NACOB office, that evening, when Abass (a notorious drug baron) sent the tape to Ndego. Quickly, the Executive Director of NACOB, Col Akuoku was briefed by Ndego and the conspiracy was hatched. On their second appearance before the Georgina Wood Committee sittings at the premises of the Ministry of Interior, the men who responded to the invitation of the Police Operations Commander were needlessly, irrationally and absurdly arrested by over 70 armed to-the-teeth Police Officers using armored cars and crowd control gadgets. Alhaji Moro, who was asked by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to accompany Tagor for the meeting with Kofi Boakye, since he Tagor was scared of the Police Operations Commander, was released within days. Kwabena Achaempong was also released and used as a Prosecution witness. After failing to arrest the men who imported the 77 parcels of cocaine; Asem Dakey and his Korean counterpart Su Kim; the NPP government found it expedient to arrest and prosecute Alhaji Issah Abass and Kwabena Amaning. The two men (although had long been suspected to be drug dealers) had nothing to do with the MV Benjamin cocaine shipment.