Monday, April 30, 2012
Moroccan coke woman remanded
April 11, 2012 (Page 3) The 37-year-old Moroccan woman who was picked up by officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) for allegedly possessing 2.7 kilogrammes of cocaine was Tueesday remanded by the Accra Circuit Court. The case of Fatima Elouardi, who was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on April 5, 2012, was not heard because it emerged that she spoke only French. There was no French interpreter when the case was called at the circuit court's sitting on Tuesday, a development that prompted the presiding judge to adjourn the case to Wednesday to enable the registrar of the court to procure the services of a French interpreter. Fatima is facing two counts of importation and possession of narcotic drugs. Her plea was not taken. Her alleged accomplice, identified as Youssef Salloum, 41, is on the run. The security agencies have mounted a search for Salloum, a Lebanese resident at Dzorwulu in Accra. Fatima was whisked away by security personnel immediately after the hearing of her case. A Principal State Attorney, Mr Asiamah Sampong, informed the court that investigations were not complete and for that reason it should remand the accused person. However, the court, presided over by Ms Audrey Korcuvie- Tay, insisted the accused person's plea be taken. It later emerged that the accused person was not literate in English. The facts of the case are that Fatima, who travelled from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Dubai on Emirates Airlines, was arrested with 2.7 kilogrammes of cocaine shortly on arrival at the KIA. Her arrest was as a result of collaboration between NACOB and its international partners who monitored the movement of Fatima and Salloum.