A large quantity of the wee-laced Atemuda bitters

JOSEPH KRAMPAH, the manufacturer of Atemuda local gin bitters, has been arrested in Takoradi with five others operating various drinking spots in Accra where he mostly sells his narcotic-laced bitters.

The six would be arraigned today in Accra on narcotic charges.

The suspects are Joseph Krampah, 56, manufacturer at Takoradi, Jerry Lindsay, 63, owner of Jerry Spot in East Legon, Kwabena Anaaba of Nabaasan bar, East Legon, Osei Kofi of Captains Spot, Bawaleshie-East Legon, Akua Segua of Anadwo Ye De Spot at Dansoman, all suburbs of Accra. 

The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Prosper Agblor, has warned people who took interest in the consumption of bitters to be careful as some bitters consisted of Indian hemp as in the case of Atemuda.

The police chief was speaking at a press briefing following the arrest of the manufacturer and distributors of the said bitters, which have some tropical herbs and wee as its active ingredients.

He explained that even the mere possession of the drink could lead to the arrest and trial of that person for possession.

Aside that, Atemuda , he warned, was not good for public health.

The six were arrested in separate operations mounted by the Narcotics Unit of the CID Headquarters led by the director of the unit, Cuthbert Mweyang Apengnuo.  

During the operations, hundreds of bottles and jerry cans containing Atemuda were seized by the police and were brought to the CID Headquarters as exhibits.

The CID boss said one hundred and twelve 1.5 bottles of Atemuda bitters seized from Jerry Spot while four jerry cans of the wee bitters were seized at Nabaasan Spot.

At Captains Spot, the police had only one quarter of the 1.5 litre bottle of the drink.

A further half jerry can was seized at Chrisdas drinking bar at Abelenkpe while 152 bottles of the drink were seized at Anadwo Ye De spot.

On March 26, 2012, the police, after arresting Joseph Krampah, also seized some brownish dough-like  substance and barrels of Akpeteshie, the main materials for the Atemuda drink.

On the same day, officials from the Ghana Standards Authority conducted field tests on all the drinks seized.

They all tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis sativa, popularly known as Indian hemp or wee.

Similarly, the officials subjected the powdery and dough-like substance to field tests and they all tested positive for THC.

BY Rocklyn Antonio

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