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The COP Kofi Boakye’s career was nearly ended by the 2006 MV Benjamin cocaine bust case

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The MV Benjamin cocaine case must be well-known to you if you were alive when and attentively followed the main news of late April 2006.

If not, the case’s specifics include that on April 26, 2006, intelligence acquired by some security officers suggested that a shipping vessel, the MV Benjamin, carrying roughly 77 packets of cocaine, was on the high seas and travelling towards the West African Coast, notably Ghana.

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The ship arrived at Tema/Kpone at midnight on the same day, unloaded its cargo, and then drove away, according to the GNA. The boxes were then transported away in a waiting vehicle.

Further investigations revealed that the main suspect in the case, Christian Sheriff Asem Darkey, chartered the ship for $150,000 to bring another vessel carrying the narcotic drugs from Guinea, which were off-loaded onto MV Benjamin on the high seas, and that the name of the vessel was changed. This led to the arrest of some people, who were then tried and convicted.

Yet, some of the cocaine cartons that had been seized and stored in the narcotics division of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) began to mysteriously vanish in 2008.

And one of Ghana’s most well-known police officers, COP Kofi Boakye, who just retired from the force after more than 30 years, used this case as a defining test case.

Kofi Boakye’s involvement in the case:

News about the disappearance of the cocaine that the police were holding at the time spread two years after the major seizure.

As a result, the Georgina Wood Committee was established on July 4, 2006, to look into the events that had caused the controversy.

The Committee was tasked with determining two things: first, the circumstances surrounding the suspected loss of 77 parcels of cocaine imported by sea; and, second, the allegations of bribery brought against some senior police officers in connection with the seizure of 558 kilogrammes of cocaine from an East Legon residence.

On September 5, 2006, it concluded its sittings and learned that the cocaine belonged to four people who had planned its importation and discharge. They were the Sheriff, the Adede2/MV Benjamin’s Captain Hwak, the Chief Engineer Cui Xian Li, and Kwak Seong, dubbed Killer.

Four people—ACP Kofi Boakye, Kwabena ‘Tagor’ Amaning, Issah Abass, Kwabena Acheampong, and Mohammed Moro—were recommended for prosecution by the committee.

Following the start of some of those people’s trials, Tagor and Abass were found guilty of conspiring to engage in unlawful activity related to narcotic substances and were given a 15-year jail sentence each with hard labour on November 28, 2007.

Kofi Boakye, who was at the time ACP Boakye, Director of Operations at the Ghana Police Headquarters, was allegedly mentioned in a covert audio recording, according to a report from the Statesman that was published on August 3, 2006, and that was afterwards reposted on GhanaWeb.com.

The recording, which lasts for more than an hour, is thought to have been made at the police chief’s home.

Four suspects are heard discussing the missing narcotics in it: Tagor, also known as Kwabena Amening; Alhaji Issah Abass, a merchant from Tema; Kwabena Acheampong; and Kojo Ababio, all businesspeople.

According to the allegation, the males were overheard discussing others bringing in some ‘goods’ that were purported to be on the high seas.

All parties acknowledged their voices were on the tape, with the exception of Alhaji Issah Abass, who complained about the voices’ clarity despite the fact that he could recognise his own voice and the voices of the other witnesses in the case.

Strangely, his voice was the most boisterous and loudest. Although he sounded more reserved, Kwabena Acheampong’s voice was clear and indicated that the tape may have been located in between the two guys.

The Georgina Wood Committee wrapped up its investigations and found in its report that Kofi Boakye’s actions have a negative impact on the reputation and integrity of the police force as well as the entire nation.

The late former President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, ordered the police chief’s recall from leave in 2009 despite the fact that he had been instructed to continue on leave, which lasted for a total of four years as the case’s investigations moved on.

Yet he also mandated a service investigation into Kofi Boakye’s actions, noting the Georgina Wood Committee’s 2006 report’s findings on misbehaviour, misuse of power, corruption, and subpar performance.

Kofi Boakye was promoted to head the education division of the Ghana Police Service after being reinstated.

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