A pathological test carried on the body of Jose Saavedra, the 49-year-old Filipino crew member of MV St Efrem Vessel, has revealed the cause of death as suffocation or "asphyxia and consistent with hanging".
The test was done on September 7 by Dr Edusei, a Pathologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Chris Klomega, Railways, Crime Officer at the Harbour and Ports Police Station, disclosed on Monday.
DSP Klomega told the Ghana News Agency that even though the cause of death was due to suffocation, the Police were yet to establish whether the deceased was murdered or committed suicide. He said the post mortem was to help the Police in their investigations, but not to be used as the only means of determining what actually happened to the deceased on board the Vessel.
The Crime Officer added that a search in the deceased's luggage revealed an amount of 35,700 US dollars and 13,000 Brazilian Reais, which he said, was in the custody of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB).
He indicated that Fernandez Alejandro Jr, Captain of the Vessel, on September 1, informed port authorities and security officials of their detection of the dead body on board the Vessel which came into the country from Brazil.
According to the Captain, the deceased who was signed on in Brazil, worked on the Vessel for one year.
MV St Efrem was intercepted and escorted to the Tema Port by State Security Agencies on September 1 when five sacks of cocaine were found among the 14,000 metric tonnes of sugar on board.
Meanwhile, discharging of the 280,000 bags of sugar labelled "Copersugar," aimed at ascertaining whether the consignment contained more of the cocaine, began on September 4.
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