Personnel of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service have arrested a 58-year-old Jamaican for cultivating 400 acres of cannabis (wee) at Koru in the Alavanyo-Nkonya District in the Volta Region.
Also arrested with the suspect, Wesley Appleton, were 10 suspects including three women who were found on the farm during the police raid. The police also retrieved about five tonnes of cannabis which had been harvested and stored in fertiliser bags and plastic drums in the cottage.
The other suspects are Kwame Kwadwo, 24, Sumu Kofi, 26, Odame Nelson, 23, Yaw Kudzordzi, 18, Gershon Owusu, 25, Maxwell Tawiah, 20, and Vincent Mensah, 21. The names of the three women are being withheld.
Briefing the press in Accra, the Director-General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Prosper Agblor, said the farm was the largest in the history of the country.
He said earlier in 2010 the CID headquarters gathered intelligence to the effect that a Jamaican had acquired a large portion of land in the Alavanyo-Nkonya area and was cultivating cannabis on large scale for export.
He said based on this information the police mounted surveillance on him.
According to the Director General, in June this year, intelligence gathered indicated that the Jamaican, who had relocated to the Nkwanta area of the Volta Region, had acquired about 400 acres of land and had employed some youth, including schoolchildren to cultivate cannabis.
He said undercover agents were deployed in the area for some months and those agents were able to locate the farm at Koru, a village near Nkwanta, also in the Volta Region .
COP Agblor said on October 2, 2012, a joint team of personnel from the CID headquarters and the Narcotics Control Board and personnel from the National Headquarters Operation Unit went to Koru and conducted a search in the village.
He said during the search, five suspects were arrested with various quantities of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis but the security team did not see the suspect.
He indicated that the team then moved to the farm, which was in the thick forest situated about five kilometres from the Koru village, and managed to arrest Wesley Appleton in his cottage.
The team discovered a cannabis farm with an estimated size of about 400 acres with part of the crop having already been harvested and the plants dried in the farm house. About five tonnes of cannabis which had been harvested and stored in fertiliser bags and plastic drums in the cottage were retrieved.
The farm and part of the harvested stock were then destroyed. Four locally made cap guns were retrieved from Wesley Appleton’s room. They were all not licensed.
He said five persons who were met sleeping in the cottage were also arrested for investigation. Wesley Appleton claimed ownership of the farm.
The Director-General warned persons engaged in such criminal activities to put an end to them before the long arm of the law catches up with them.
He said police intelligence officers were on the ground and as and when they gathered sufficient intelligence, similar operations would be carried out in other regions of the country.
Last week Border officers at the Heathrow Airport in the UK made their biggest cannabis seizure in three years after containers arriving on an aircraft from Ghana last Monday September 24, 2012 were found to contain the drug.
According to the London Evening Standard newspaper, the drug, which weighed around 1.5 tonnes and had a street value of 4.3 million pounds sterling, was found in three separate freight containers filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.
In another incident, a 750,000 pound haul of cocaine had been intercepted by customs officials at Heathrow Airport stashed inside hollowed-out plantains in a huge shipment of fruit and vegetables from Ghana.
Story: Mary Mensah/Daily Graphic