Regional News of Thursday, 12 June 2014
The telecommunication companies (Telcos) have been urged to act quickly to fix any technical glitches that have made it impossible for mobile phone users to receive network services on the two-kilometre Breku-Nnadieso stretch of the Kumasi/Accra highway.
The people said highway robbers were taking advantage of this to attack and rob travelers of their money and valuables.
Many passengers and motorists have fallen victim to robbery raids at that section of the highway, the latest of which, happened on May 20 with one person killed.
Residents in the two communities told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the usually well-armed criminals, acutely aware that travelers could not make distress calls on entering that zone, would hide in the Breku Forest Reserve to strike.
The journalists had visited the area under STAR-Ghana’s media auditing and tracking of development projects to put a spotlight on how government resources are impacting on the lives of the people, especially those in the rural communities.
Alhaji Muniru Ibrahim of Breku said, “these armed robbers are smart guys; they have been exploiting the lack of network service to rob people, and they will melt into the forest after their operation".
“They often take the police by surprise, striking, whenever the highway patrols are relaxed,” he said.
Alhaji Ibrahim said he strongly believed that the telcos could significantly help to make the place unattractive for the criminals.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Samuel Sandow Latebu, the Asante-Akim South District Commander, said they had put in place measures to tackle the rampant robbery in the area.
He said they had deployed personnel from the Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) Unit to patrol the area and as a long term measure, police posts would be constructed at Pra River Junction and Nnadieso.
DSP Latebu said they strongly suspected the involvement of some residents of Breku and Nnadieso in the attacks and were doing everything to track down the miscreants and to bring them to justice.