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General News of Thursday, 30 November 2000

Source: GNA

Alleged fuel smuggler shot dead at Aflao

One person was shot dead when a group of people suspected to be fuel smugglers engaged a patrol team of the Ketu District Security Task Force in a scuffle at Afedido, near Aflao, in the Volta Region on November 26, this year.

The dead man, whose body has been deposited at the Central Aflao Hospital mortuary pending autopsy, has been identified as Tsevi Kpasrah, 30, from Avoeme. Mr Samuel Seme Wodah, Superintendent of Police in charge of Keta Divisional Police Command, said following the ascendancy in the smuggling of petroleum products in the district to Togo, the District Security Committee constituted a task force to combat the activities of the smugglers.

He said on that day, the night patrol team had a tip-off at 3.30 a.m. that some smugglers were conveying several containers of petrol to Togo. He said on arrival at Afedido, one group of the task force chased a group of smugglers carrying petrol but they all bolted.

Mr Wodah said some few minutes later, the other group of the task force saw about 15 motor bikes each carrying two containers on their way towards the Ghana-Togo border. The Divisional Commander said the smugglers refused an order to halt but instead advanced and attacked the task force with cudgels and cutlasses resulting in a scuffle during which they attempted to wrest a rifle from a policeman.

But before the smugglers could seize the gun, a member of the task force rushed to his aid and took possession of the rifle, which he fired. Mr Wodah said the smugglers then jumped onto their bikes and fled without taking notice of the casualty.

He said at about 10.30 a.m., the same day, a young man reported at the police station that his brother had been shot by a policeman and had been rushed to the Aflao District Hospital. Mr Wodah said the police visited the hospital and met Tsevi who died shortly after admission with gunshot wounds on his back and stomach and bruises on his elbows and left toe. Mr. Wodah said police investigations are continuing.