In-depth investigations conducted by The Chronicle into the reported $10 million worth of cocaine busted at the Tema Port have revealed that the freight forwarder, Global Cargo and Commodities Limited, was assisted by both the National Security Council (NSC) and Narcotics Control Commission (NARCOC) to clear the consignment of 50 containers of sugar from the Meridian Ports Services (MPS)-operated Terminal Three of the Tema Port.
The inquisition further unveiled that the batch was part of a consignment of 300 containers of sugar being shipped from Brazil to a consignee in Ghana.
On August 6, 2020, Mediterranean Shipping Company Limited (MSC) vessel MV MSC MONTEREY departed Santos, Brazil, with a number of boxes, including the 50 containers shipped by Usina Santa Isabel, a company based in Sao Paulo and consigned to Trade Pass Gh Limited in Ghana.
On September 13, 2020, the vessel docked at Terminal Three of the Tema Port, and before Global Cargo and Commodities Limited, the freight forwarding company, could commence the process for clearance, the NSC officials alerted it of a particular tagged container, and for that matter surveillance was placed on the container.
The clearing agent, having gone through documentation, invited the two security agencies which escorted the fifty containers from the MPS Terminal to the designated warehouse.
Personnel of these security establishments supervised the discharge of the sugar from the various containers on September 11th and 12th, till the tagged one, with container number MSCU6889036 and security seal FJ08881031, was located.
The operatives, at this stage, picked samples of six bags of the sugar for analysis, after which some pellets suspected to be narcotics were found. All this while, the security agencies had the full collaboration of the agent, Global Cargo and Commodities Limited, to get to the source of the narcotic drugs.
A further investigation revealed that the seller of the three hundred 20-foot containers of sugar is Sucden Middle East, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
On the Bill of Lading, number MEDUST209567, Global Cargo and Commodities Limited was put in the position of NOTIFY PARTY, who becomes responsible for the arrival of the vessel and informs the buyer so chosen by the seller.
The CONSIGNEE, in this case, is the entity with financial responsibility for the cargo -the buyer.
It was gathered that whilst the vessel was on her voyage to Tema, the seller informed the freight forwarding company, Global Cargo and Commodities Limited of TRADEPASS Gh Ltd as the confirmed consignee, however, there was an instruction for the goods to be kept at the warehouse till the green light is given for its release, presupposing the business contract had been sealed.
Tradepass Gh Ltd initially intended using its own freight forwarding company to clear the goods, but due to a problem it had with the Customs Warehousing code, the consignee decided to fall on Global Cargo and Commodities Limited to clear the 50 containers of sugar.
Report by Moses Kwesi Dautey