Imposter grabbed for possessing cocaine at Pantang,Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A man who allegedly posed as a drug addict in need of rehabilitation at the Pantang Hospital in Accra has been arrested for possessing a drug suspected to be cocaine.

It took the vigilance of the nurses at Ward 5 of the hospital, where the suspect, Robert Frimpong, was admitted to, to detect the fishy scheme when Frimpong, who had been on admission for three days, asked for permission to go home and come back the next day.
The permission was granted and Frimpong returned on July 17, 2014, as promised.  
A source at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said as a convention in the hospital, when new patients were received, a small party was held in their honour.
It said it was during the party that two young men who claimed they were Frimpong’s relatives but who acted suspiciously came to the ward to visit him.
It said because of the party, the two visitors were asked to wait.
“After the party, the two visitors met Frimpong and handed over detergents and a small black plastic bag to him. I wanted to know what was in the bag but one of them said it was nothing. I took the bag from Frimpong and found some tiny pieces of paper stuffed with a whitish substance,” the source said.
Frimpong also had a phone and a charger — items that the hospital’s rules do not allow into the rehabilitation wards.
“That raised suspicion and so we took Frimpong away and searched him. We found 87 of those small wrappers in his elastic boxer shorts, two cigarette packets, one of which was empty, three lighters and pieces of candle, a smoking pipe and almost GH¢700 in GH¢5 denominations, in addition to some coins,” it said.
The source said ideally all new patients were searched before being admitted but because Frimpong had come on his own accord, there had been no search on him.
“This is a rehabilitation centre and so when somebody comes on his own volition, you have to trust that person. It is not easy. We trusted him and he nearly messed us up,” it said.
It said right after the incident, the Adenta Police were called in to deal with the situation.
 Frimpong and his accomplices were subsequently arrested.

Patients in rehabilitation
Currently, the Pantang Hospital has 250 patients at different stages of recovery. The ward to which Frimpong was admitted has 19 patients recovering from drug use, including cocaine, heroin, alcohol and marijuana.
The source said such incidents at the ward were rare because of the strict procedure by which the hospital searched all new patients.
However, another source said the hospital’s past experiences with similar incidents had been with marijuana and not hard drugs.
The Deputy Director in charge of Nursing Services at the hospital, Madam Christiana Reynolds, confirmed the incident and stated that the hospital would continue to strengthen its procedures to ensure that patients were protected.
The Pantang Hospital rehabilitation process begins with a detoxification  which takes three days, followed with another stage for weeks before a six-month intensive rehabilitation which involves isolation.
Frimpong was at the second stage when the incident occurred.
The Adenta District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Stephen Kofi Ahiafatu, confirmed the incident and stated that the suspects had been arraigned.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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