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JoyFm vindicated: BNI arrests cocoa chemical smuggler

Officials of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) have arrested a suspect said to be illegally selling agrochemical substances meant for cocoa farmers.

The suspect, named only as Kofi Red was said to have been arrested on Tuesday, just a day after Joy News broke the story of the illegal sale of agrochemical substances.

Kwetey Nartey revealed how some men were cashing in on the substances which were strictly not for sale and which were supposed to be distributed for free to cocoa farmers.

The insecticides and pesticides were smuggled and sold to agrochemical sellers who in turn sell the agrichemicals to the poor farmers.

The smuggling meant some farmers who did not have money to buy the pesticides had their farms unattended to.

Shortly after the Joy News report, COCOBOD, the regulatory body that has oversight responsibility for the Cocoa Industry denied the report.

In a rather caustic rejoinder the COCOBOD among other things said: “…since January 2014,  Ghana Cocoa Board has reviewed the CODAPEC/HITECH programme and placed the distribution of the inputs directly under its staff in the various districts leading to the absence on our markets of the CODAPEC and HITECH inputs marked  NOT FOR SALE, and not recently as portrayed in the documentary,” it said.

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Joy FM has since stood by its story.

In what appears to be a vindication of the story put out by Joy News, the BNI said it has arrested a suspect who is believed to be part of a syndicate selling the not-for-sale chemicals.

The BNI officials told Joy News Editor Dzifa Bampoh, some of the substances Kofi Red was selling have been confiscated and would be used as evidence against the suspect.

The BNI is however continuing with investigations into the matter.