Eric Mawutor, unemployed who cultivated the habit of stealing cocoa beans, has been handed a 12-month-prison term in hard labour by a circuit court at Akim Swedru.
Mawutor, described by the police as a notorious criminal , stole a bag of fermented cocoa beans worth about GHc205 from Mr. Kwasi Kutu’s farm at Akim Kafodidi village.
Recently, stealing of dried cocoa beans in the Akim Oda and its environs, a major cocoa growing area in the Eastern Region, has become a lucrative business for the unemployed as well as other unscrupulous farmers.
The Akim Oda Magistrate Court and the Akim Swedru Circuit Court have since January this year convicted 10 accused persons, charged with stealing of cocoa beans and there other cocoa stealing cases pending.
Mawutor pleaded guilty.
Police Chief Inspector Adelaide Appiakorang told the court that Mr. Kutu went to his farm on January 12 and detected theft of his one bag of fermented cocoa beans.
However, on the same day, someone told Mr Kutu that the convict brought a bag of fermented cocoa beans to him for sale and told him that it was his father who had sent him but when Mawutor’s father was contacted he denied sending the son. GNA