5 October 2012

Ghana: 400 Acre 'Ganja' Farm Shocks Police

Authorities of the Ghana Police are dumbfounded after discovering a 400 acre 'ganja' (marijuana) farm at Koru, a village near Nkwanta in the Volta Region.

What was more shocking to the men and women in black uniform was the owner of the 'ganja' farm, a Jamaican national who has been residing in the country since 2004.

According to the police, the dubious activities of the Jamaican, together with his Ghanaian accomplices, were uncovered after a tipoff and painstaking investigations.

Having tracked their activities for twenty-four months, the suspect, Wesley Appleton Michel (Jamaican), and his men, were finally rounded up by the national Police CID headquarters in Hollywood style, when they were in the process of harvesting their farm produce on October 2, 2012.

Mr. Appleton's accomplices - Kwadzo Kwame, 24, Sunu Kofi, 26, Kudzordzi Yaw, 18, Odame Nelson, 23, Gershon Owusu, 25, Tawiah Maxwell, 20, and Vincent Mensah, 21 - were also arrested in the cottage. They are currently in police custody assisting in investigations.

Briefing The Chronicle yesterday in Accra, the Director-General of CID, COP Kwame Agblor, said in 2010, the police gathered intelligence to the effect that a Jamaican national had acquired a large portion of land in the Alavanyo-Nkonya area, and was cultivating cannabis on a large scale for export.

According to him, surveillance was mounted, and somewhere in June, intelligence gathered indicated that the Jamaican had relocated to the Nkwanta area in the Volta Region, and had acquired about 400 acres of land and employed some youth, including school children, to cultivate cannabis on it.

COP Agblor noted that his outfit, upon the tipoff, quickly deployed undercover agents in the area, and were able to locate the farm at Koru, a village near Nkwanta.

He said on October 2, 2012, a joint team of personnel from the CID headquarters and the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), together with the National Headquarters Operation Unit, went to Koru and conducted a search in the village.

During the search, seven suspects were arrested with various quantities of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis.

The team then moved to the farm, situated about five kilometres from the village, and arrested suspect Wesley Appleton in his cottage.

The team, according to COP Agblor, saw a farm with an estimated size of about 400 acres, with part of the crop already been harvested and dried in the farm house.

"About five tonnes, which had been harvested and stored in a fertilizer bags and plastic drums in the cottage, were retrieved," he noted

A search in suspect Wesley Appleton's room revealed four unlicensed locally made cap guns, which the police retrieved.

Upon interrogation, suspect Wesley Appleton claimed ownership of the farm.

Meanwhile, the police are still investigating the case and have warned persons who are engaged in such criminal activities to put an end to them before the long arm of the law catches up with them.

The Director- General of CID further revealed their intelligence was on the ground, and "as and when we gather sufficient intelligence, similar operations will be carried in other regions of the country."

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