Crime & Punishment of Friday, 17 February 2017
Three Persons who have been using state protocol vehicle to embark on criminal activities have been arrested by the Police upon a tip off at Obuasi junction in the Adansi North District of the Ashanti Region.
The 3 men aged between 25 and 35 have been vandalizing cell sites of Telecommunications companies, stealing backup batteries and other valuable items including fire extinguishers and earthing cables.
More than 20 backup batteries belonging to Glo Telecom company were found in their vehicle, a Nissan Navara pickup with registration number GX 727-15 with a state Protocol office of the President sticker fixed on the windscreen ostensibly to facilitate smooth passage at various Police check points.
For the past two years, many Glo cell sites dotted along the Accra – Cape Coast – Kumasi Highway have been vandalized and more than 500 backup batteries and other items estimated at Ghc 1 million have been stolen.
The backup batteries serve as alternative power source to sustain the cell sites in the event of ECG power outage to enable customers communicate continuously without experiencing call drop.
On February 15th, 2017, twelve backup batteries were stolen at a Major HUB SITE in Assin Anyinabrim in the Assin South district in the central region.
Following that theft incident, security guards at other Glo sites were instructed to be on high alert.
On February 16th 2017, a day after the Anyinabrim theft incident, a security guard at another major HUB SITE in Assin Asempanaye in the Assin North District of the central region spotted a blue black Nissan Navara pick up leaving his site after he had gone for lunch. Upon checks at the site, he realized that the backup battery compartment had been vandalized and 12 Batteries stolen.
He quickly alerted the site Engineer and hired a taxi cab to track the suspected thieves.
Upon reaching Assin Assin Praso Police check point, the security guard informed the Police officers who in turn sent a wireless message to their colleagues at other Police check Points along the Assin Fosu-Kumasi highway.
Following the tip off, Policemen at a check point at Hwiremoase near Obuasi junction arrested and detained the three young men who offered to pay the Police over Ghc 1000 as bribe but the policemen declined.
A search conducted on the vehicle revealed more than 20 backup batteries and other items concealed in the bucket of the pick up.
The suspects who admitted to the offense of stealing, are now in Police custody at the Assin Praso Police station pending further investigation to enable the police arraign them before court.