….Crime, Justice and the Law- Preliminary Hearing Case Ref. as extracted on the 27th day of November 2014, from Court 5 of the Isleworth Crown Court’s notice board- T20141080/ …88NC0093814
Ms Nayele Ametefeh- the woman known otherwise in the Ghanaian media landscape as “Ruby Adu-Gyamfi” and at the center of an alleged 12.5kg VVIP Lounge cocaine trafficking saga, appeared to have disappointed her teeming UK-based Ghanaian sympathizers, detractors and the press- both in London and From Accra, who thronged to the Isleworth Crown Court to unveil the mysteries surrounding her Heathrow arrest, when she pleaded guilty for exporting prohibited goods [cocaine] (Class A Drug), to the United Kingdom. Section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 provides that:
2)Without prejudice to any other provision of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979, if any person is, in relation to any goods, in any way knowingly concerned in any fraudulent evasion or attempt at evasion—
(a)of any duty chargeable on the goods;
(b)of any prohibition or restriction for the time being in force with respect to the goods under or by virtue of any enactment; or
(c)of any provision of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979 applicable to the goods,
he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and may be detained.
Nayele Amatefeh (aka Ruby Adu-Gyanfi), was arrested on 10 November 2014 at Heathrow Airport, London, for allegedly smuggling 12.5kg cocaine through VVIP Lounge, Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, onboard British Airways flight No. BA/078 on 09 November 2014. She was first heard at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on 11 November 2014 and committed for Crown Court trial on 27 November 2014 at Court 5, Isleworth Crown Court, 36 Ridgeway Road, Isleworth, London, TW7 5LP, at 2pm. Due to some delays the video-conference proceedings started at about 14:25 by the court’s clock.
On taking his seat, Judge Edmunds, established the Defendant’s identity which she reaffirmed as Nayele Amatefeh. Next was the accused’s response to the charge brought against her. The Defendant who seemed to be wearing black hanging trouser with grey-top pullover with her flocking hair tightly tied behind her, displaying her full-forehead, pleaded guilty for importing Class A Drugs into the UK.
With this voluntarily confession from the somehow relaxed but occasionally, unsettled bugged body-mass disposition and obligatory smiles, the matter turned on Adjournment and Pre-sentencing Report (PSR) for sentencing hearing which is to last no more than 30 minutes on Monday, 05 January 2015.
The Prosecution and the Defence Counsel agreed on the need to establish the actual quantity of the cocaine alleged to have been attempted to export by the Defendant through the forensic examination report and a possible amendment to some sections of the charge preferred against Ms Nayele Amatefeh.
On this agreement, Judge Edmunds remanded the Defendant to custody until 05 January 2015 where the final sentencing tariff might be pronounced. Judge Edmunds stated that final sentencing period that Nayele Amatefeh might eventually serve in prison, shall take account of the day of her arrest and detention on Monday, 10 November 2014. This formally brought the some 10 minutes hearing to a close.
After Court Proceedings inquiries and information
Nayele Amatefeh’s offence is importation of [Class A] Drugs and the relevant Legislation cited in the Court: were Section 170 Customs & Excise Management Act 1970, and Section 3(1) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: Class A max life, Class B and C max 14 years.
Section 3(1) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 states that:
(1)Subject to subsection (2) below:
(a) the importation of a controlled drug; and
(b) the exportation of a controlled drug,
(2) are hereby prohibited.
Subsection (1) above does not apply:
(a) to the importation or exportation of a controlled drug which is for the time being excepted from paragraph (a) or, as the case may be, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above by regulations under section 7 of this Act; or
(b) to the importation or exportation of a controlled drug under and in accordance with the terms of a licence issued by the Secretary of State and in compliance with any conditions attached thereto.
What, then, are class A,B and C drugs? Class A drugs are considered to be the most harmful and attract the most serious punishments and fines. This classification covers drugs such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. LSD is chemical name, lysergic acid diethylamide, and is commonly called ‘acid’. according to Talkfrank.com, LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug – this means that users are likely to experience a distorted view of objects and reality, including seeing and sometimes hearing things that aren’t there (these are hallucinations). If found guilty by a court of law of possessing Class A drugs you could go to prison for up to seven years and fined. If you sell Class A drugs you could receive a life imprisonment.
Commenting on Nayele Amatefeh’s arrest and detention after court proceedings, State Prosecutor Rarinder Johal who appeared economical with information when JusticeGhana inquired about the clarification of Section 3(1) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and whether or not Nayele Amatefeh was accorded with special custom checks on arrival in London, told the gathered press that the Defendant was onboard the British Airways flight No. BA/078, and was going through the normal routine customs checks with one orange handbag and a trolley when she was questioned and arrested at Heathrow.
Prosecutor Johal added that when questioned about the purpose of her travel to the United Kingdom, Ms Nayele Amatefeh told the UK Border Authorities that she lives in Austria and that she was in London to do business and make some shopping. Prosecutor Rarinder Johal told the press that apart from the intended amendment to the charge, he could give no more information in relation to the Defendant’s guilty plea.
The Prosecution hinted however that an importation of 5kg Class A Drug into UK, could attract up to 10 years’ jail- implying that a 12kg cocaine could be 10-15 years. This is yes, subject to a one-third credit for pleading guilty at the first possible opportunity and any mitigation circumstances.
Defence Counsel Andrea Brown offered no formal interview to the press apart from hinting to a cross-section of the general public who attended the preliminary court hearing that they will be waiting for the outcome of the forensic report and that they will appeal against the sentence if it turns out to be severe.
The Crown Prosecution Service has set out the following Mitigating Features related to drug trafficking:
Involvement due to pressure, intimidation or coercion failing short of duress, except where already taken into account in step 1
Supply only of drug to which offender addicted
Mistaken belief of the offender regarding the type of drug, taking onto account the reasonableness of such belief in all the circumstances
No previous convictions or no relevant or recent convictions
Offender’s vulnerability was exploited
Good character and or exemplary conduct
Determination and/or demonstration of steps having been taken to address addiction or offending behaviour
Serious medical conditions requiring urgent, intensive or long term treatment
Age and/or lack of maturity where it affects the responsibility of the offender
Mental disorder or learning disability
Sole or primary carer of dependent relatives
On Monday, 05 January 2015, when Ms Nayele Amatefeh [aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi], will be expected to appear before Judge Edmunds for her sentencing hearing for illegal importation of Class A Drug [??12.5kg cocaine] into UK, the Defence Counsel might have the burden to show to the Isleworth Crown Court that her client played neither a leading, significant nor lesser role in the importation of this prohibited drug.
This might go a long way to influence; favourably or unfavourably, the starting point and the category range of the prison sentence that the agitated Ghanaians- both at home and abroad, not forgetting those “sympathizers and detractors”, who on Thursday, 27 November 2014, at about 14:20hrs, scuffled with the press to gain early entry to Courtroom 5, to catch a video-glimpse of her client, are perhaps, desperately awaiting.