The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has intercepted 119 bags filled with compressed dried substance suspected to be Indian hemp at Dabala, in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
The contrabands were being transported to an unknown location on a Ford transit van and an International truck that broke down along the way.
The sacks of the suspected Indian hemp were allegedly moved from the broken vehicle to a thatch house to be hidden from the visible security agencies in the area.
The slabs of the suspected narcotic substance had been wrapped with brown cello tape and rubber and concealed in 100 kilograms sacks.
The exact quantities and weight of each sack or slabs were yet to be established, according to the Customs Division, as the van has since been impounded and its driver arrested.
The Ag. Commissioner of Customs, Alhaji Iddrisu Iddisah, who briefed journalists ahead of handing over of the bags to the Narcotics Control Commission, said the arrest was made by the Eastern Corridor Monitoring Task Force of the Division which responds to issues concerning smuggling and cross border crimes along Ghana’s borders with Togo.
He said based on intelligence, the team intercepted the van carrying 26 sacks of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp at Wute near Akatsi in the Volta Region.
The driver was arrested after he was given a hot chase and his vehicle developed a fault after bumping into a ramp on the road.
During interrogations as part of preliminary investigations it was established that there was a bigger truck also carrying some of the contraband goods which had broken at Avadre, near Ziope.
When the team got to the point where the bigger truck had broken down the occupants on the van allegedly abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene.
It was discovered that the sacks had been moved to a house close by to conceal it from the security agencies.
The team retrieved the sacks and transferred them to a state warehouse.
Later, a joint team of personnel from Customs, Narcotic Control Board, Bureau of National Investigation, National Security, Defence Intelligence and the Food and Drugs Authority conducted an examination of the suspected substance.
Commissioner Iddisah said the suspect had been handed over to the police but there were other suspects who were currently on the run and were being pursued by the police.
He said it was believed that the truck drivers engaged in such criminal activity on the blind side of the owners of the truck.
He therefore urged vehicle owners to track what their vehicles were used for as in line with the law, vehicles used for such activities were impounded.
Alhaji Seidu warned drug traffickers and persons involved in other border crimes to desist from their activities as border security officials were alert and would arrest and ensure such criminals were brought to book.
The head of the Eastern Corridor Monitoring Task Force, Revenue Officer, Abdullah Dari, said the people behind such activities were “criminals and national economic saboteurs as they wrack the nation of the revenue needed for development projects”.