Cocobod has warned it would crack the whip on any Licensed buying companies (LBCs) found to be involved in the smuggling and stealing of cocoa beans.
The assertion follows the retrieval of some 206 bags of cocoa by cocobod, alleged to have been stolen by some persons at the Cocoa Marketing Company Warehouse in Tema.
The three are, Fredrick Baako, 30, a Security Personnel at the Cocoa Marketing Company Warehouse in Tema, Moses Amoah, 35, a driver and John Essiaw, 47, believed to be the driver’s mate.
They are reported to have loaded the cocoa, from the Akasanoma cocoa warehouse onto a vehicle with registration number GC 7088-11 but were intercepted by the police patrol team around the heavy industrial area at dawn on Sunday 8th March, 2015.
According to the Public Affairs Manager of Cocobod, Noah Amenyah, further checks has implicated the Federated Commodities Company (FEDCO) as a waybill in the company’s name that was recovered from the consignment.
He said the waybill belonging to FEDCO covering the consignment indicated that the truck was moving from Oda in the Eastern Region as the point of despatch and Takoradi Habour as the destination.
This raised some suspicion which led to the arrest of the suspects.
nitial investigations reveal that Frederick Baako, the main suspect used the vehicle of his brother Evans Opare Baako, a purchasing clerk of FEDCO, a licensed buying company to evacuate the cocoa.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Noah Amenyah cautioned licensed cocoa buyers to desist from such acts as they will be severely dealt with.
‘’We will take an administrative measure against our security man because it is a breach of our organisation’s rules and we will pursue the criminal aspect of it till he is appropriately punished.’’
Mr Amenyah, adds that the companies involved in the syndicate if established will be sanctioned including any other person linked to the theft.
The suspects are currently in the grips of the Tema Regional Police Command assisting with investigations.
Confirming the arrest, ASP Juliana Obeng, Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, said the move was part of efforts by the Police Service to clamp down on crime in the metropolis.
ASP Obeng said investigations were still being conducted and the culprits would be arraigned before court.
She urged the general public to be vigilant and report all suspected criminals to the police.