The Ghana COCOBOD Intelligence Unit, together with the Asamankese District Police Command, has intercepted cocoa beans packed in oil drums for smuggling at Asuokaw, near Asamankese, in the Eastern Region.
A total of 35 drums, which looked like oil but rather cocoa beans, were being smuggled in a KIA vehicle with a registration number ER 856-14. The joint operation team of the COCOBOD and Police seized the cocoa beans and the vehicle.
David Nartey, suspected to be owner of the vehicle, has been arrested and assisting the police in their investigation.
One drum of the cocoa beans weighed 144kg, according to the COCOBOD team. The team has sent all 35 drums to COCOBOD headquarters to access it quantity and quality.
Charles Amenyaglo, the Director of Special Services at Ghana COCOBOD, in an interview with the media, said the smuggling of cocoa has been a business for some Ghanaians.
He said it had been the case due to difference in pricing by neighbouring countries. According to Mr Amenyaglo, the smugglers go to these cocoa farmers and cheat them by buying the product at a lesser price.
He added that COCOBOD had recorded eight cases of cocoa smuggling recently in the Eastern Region and just last week similar cases were recorded in Tepa, Aflao and Ho.
Mr Amenyaglo said when the COCOBOD Intelligence Unit got to ‘Asuokaw’, the people who were loading the drums into the vehicle ran away and abandoned the vehicle.
He, therefore, called on the public to support COCOBOD to fight cocoa smuggling by giving tip off to the Police.