Quantities of bags of cocoa beans concealed in 35 oil drums and being smuggled have been intercepted through a joint operation of Ghana Cocobod and Police in the Eastern Region.

The perpetrators concealed the cocoa beans in the drums ostensibly to outsmart the security pretending it were palm oil from the enclave known for palm oil production.

The vehicle with registration number ER 856-14 was however intercepted at Asuokaw a community near Asamankese after sustained intelligence and surveillance.

Unfortunately many of the suspects absconded upon seeing the operation team but David Nartey, who claimed to be owner of the vehicle was arrested.

He is in Asamankese police custody assisting investigation.

Meanwhile, one of the drums weighed 144kg which is two bags and 16kg.

The confiscated cocoa beans have been sent to the headquarters of COCOBOD in Accra.

Mr Charles Amenyaglo, Director of Special Services, Ghana COCOBOD said COCOBOD has noted worrying trend of Cocoa illicit cocoa smuggling operations in the Eastern region and parts of the country to neighbouring countries such as Togo and Cote D’Ivoire due to price differentials.

According to him, COCOBOD has recorded eight cases of cocoa smuggling recently in the Region.

He said few weeks ago similar cases were recorded in Tepa, Elubo, Afloa and Ho where the perpetrators were arrested.

Mr Charles Amenyaglo called on Ghanaians to support COCOBOD to fight cocoa smuggling by giving tip off to the Police to clamp down on the perpetrators.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Kojo Ansah