An Accra Circuit Court has fined three persons 100 penalty units each, equivalent to GH¢1,200.00, for stealing 206 bags of cocoa beans valued GH¢72,100.00 belonging to the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC).
In default, Frederick Baako, Moses Amoah and John Essiaw, alias Jojo would serve three years imprisonment each, in hard labour.
They denied conspiring to steal the cocoa beans. Frederick was additionally charged with Possession of forged document and was ordered to pay another fine of 40 penalty units or GH¢480.00.
Failure to pay the fine would land him in prison for 12 months in hard labour. Meanwhile, the sentences are to run concurrently.
One Evans Opare Baako, their accomplice is currently at large.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye told the Court presided over by Madam Eva Bannerman Williams, a High Court Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court Judge, that Frederick was a security guard-CMC whilst Amoah and Essiaw were drivers.
He said the complainant in this case was the Principal Security Officer at CMC, Tema, adding that Federick and Evans (at Large) “are brothers”.
Prosecution said Frederick was a Security Guard stationed at Akasanoma Warehouse in Tema whilst Evans was the District Manager of FEDCO, a Licensed Cocoa Buying Company at Enyinase in the Western Region.
Frederick and Evans in March 2015, conspired to steal Cocoa beans from Akasanoma Warehouse at Tema where Frederick was the night security guard and on March 8, 2015 at about 0230 hours a Police Patrol Team on their normal rounds at the Tema Heavy Industrial Area, intercepted a KIA Truck with the registration number GC 7088- 11 loaded with the 206 bags of the dried cocoa beans valued at GH¢72,100.00.
ASP Nyamekye said the truck was driven by Essiaw and Amoah was the co-driver. It was revealed after the arrest that the vehicle with the cocoa beans belonged to Evans.
He said when the documents on the cocoa were inspected, it was found to be a CDH Commodities Limited waybill number 0000581 covering 160 bags of dried cocoa to be transported from Oda in the Eastern Region to Takoradi Port in the Western Region.
ASP said Essiaw, who produced the waybill, told the Police that it was given to him by Frederick. The Police also detected on the waybill that the date was incomplete and the route also different from where they were arrested.
Based on that suspicion, the Police arrested the drivers together with the stolen items to assist in investigations. On interrogation, Amoah and Essiaw mentioned Frederick as the owner of the cocoa beans.
ASP Nyamekye said Frederick was arrested at his duty point at the Akasanoma Warehouse, where he admitted stealing the cocoa beans with the assistance of Amoah and Essiaw using Evans, his elder brother’s KIA Truck with the registration number GC 7088 -11.