The police in the Bono Region have arrested two men for allegedly transporting 260 packets of compressed dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
The two are, Awudu Yakubu, 32, a driver and Ibrahim Haruna, 37, the alleged owner of the banned substance.
According to the police, Haruna hired the bus with registration number GC 5118-Z to transport the substance from Alaba in Kumasi to Niger, but luck eluded the two when they were arrested at Techiman in the Bono East Region.
The suspect driver, who was carrying about 20 passengers in the 60-seater bus, had removed the air conditioner and speaker compartments as well as back seats and had hidden the compressed packets of the suspected cannabis in there.
According to the police, the 260 packets weighed about 520 kilogrammes.
The Deputy Bono Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Baba Saanid Adamu, told the media that personnel from the Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) had a tip-off that the Niger-bound bus was loaded with cannabis and was heading towards Techiman en route to Niger.
According to him, police officers from the regional crime team and DLEU received the intelligence on the movement of the bus last Saturday.
ACP Adamu said the police kept surveillance on the vehicle till it set off last Monday, April 12, on its way to Niger.
He said the police inspected the vehicle when it got to Techiman at about 2 a.m. and found the suspected cannabis. He said the suspects upon interrogation admitted that they were transporting the substances to Niger.
The police thus escorted the vehicle to the Sunyani Police Headquarters for further interrogation.
ACP Adamu said the police found the compressed substance in yellow and blue plastic bags, cellotaped and kept in the air conditioner and speaker compartments and back seats of the bus.
He said the passengers in the bus were freed but were being monitored.
ACP Adamu said the police had began investigations to arrest the people who contracted the suspects to transport the substance to Niger.
“We will do further investigations to get to the source of the matter. Normally we engage with our international partners through the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), so we are still in that process. For now, I won’t disclose much except to say that we are still in the process of gathering more information,” he said.
The Deputy Bono Regional Police Commander said the suspects would be arraigned before court in the coming days and would be charged for possessing narcotic drugs without authority.