The security operatives of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in the Western Region, have busted two persons for unlawfully taking delivery of 296 bags of cocoa beans into a private warehouse.
The suspects, Paa Kwesi Nkrumah, a warehouse keeper, and Henry Kwofie, who is in charge of shipment for Real Product, a local cocoa processing company, are currently in police custody, and are assisting in investigations.
Meanwhile, the police have mounted a search for Anthony Apesu, the driver of the truck that diverted 19 bags of cocoa beans to the facility on Tuesday, August 4.
Major Michael Adjei (retired), Head of Security and Intelligence at the Western South and Port Operations of the COCOBOD, confirmed the arrest to the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi.
He indicated that the company had been experiencing theft at its Takoradi Takeover Centre in recent times.
The Centre comprises, Kejebil Warehouse Complex near Mpohor and Cocoa Commodity Village at Apowa in the Ahanta West District, which mostly take delivery of cocoa beans from the hinterlands for fumigation, assessment and reconditioning before exporting them abroad.
As a result of the theft, he said, the security operatives of the company intensified surveillance at the two warehouses, and eventually, the security measures instituted paid off when they received a tip-off on Tuesday, August 4, that a truck conveying 19 bags of cocoa beans had diverted the goods to a private warehouse at Apowa.
Maj. Adjei said the company’s security personnel went to the place and found Kwofie and Nkrumah, who claimed the warehouse belonged to a white man, and that it had stopped receiving cocoa for the past two years.
Subsequently, the security personnel demanded an inspection of the facility, but they were reluctant to open, so they forcibly opened.
Thereafter, the suspects opened the warehouse and found 296 bags of cocoa beans worth over HC100, 000 without seals, station bag numbers and ungraded, as well as some fictitious waybills and waste cocoa products.
Major Adjei indicated that the facility belonged to a local cocoa processing company called Real Product, which was indebted to COCOBOD millions of Ghana Cedis, and had since stopped supplying them cocoa beans.
The Kwesimintsim police were alerted, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
Meanwhile, the cocoa beans found at the facility have been seized and evacuated to the COCOBOD warehouse at Kejebil for further assessment and recondition by the Quality Control Unit before shipment.