Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Source: GNA

Driver remanded for stealing telco's back up batteries

Eric Kwame Addo, a driver who is being held for stealing 48 back up batteries belonging to some telecommunication service providers in the country has been put before an Accra Circuit Court.

Addo, 30, charged with conspiracy and stealing batteries worth 72, 000 dollar has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court presided over by Mr. W. Essandoh has remanded Addo aka Joe Swimmer into police custody to reappear on August 27.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Francis Tassan told the court that the police have intensified efforts to arrest two other accomplices namely Abotsi and Prosper Kabo, two scrap dealers, now at large. The two were said to have hired Addo to the various cell sites to embark on their operations.

The facts as presented by Chief Inspector Tassan on August 1, this year, said the Madina Divisional Criminal Department (CID) had information that a syndicate using a Nissan Pick Up with registration number ER 3015-11 GU and a Kia truck were going round MTN, Airtel and other services providers’ cell sites stealing back up batteries of these service providers.

Prosecution said the Police therefore extended enquiries to the DVLA offices at Koforidua in the Eastern Region where it was detected that licensing plates of the vehicles being used by the syndicate were fake.

Chief Inspector Tassan said luck however eluded the syndicate after the Police apprehended a KIA Bongo Mini vehicle with registration number GS 7976-13 at Accra Girls Senior High School loaded with 72 back up batteries valued at 108,000 dollars, which were stolen from West Legon, Kokomlemle and Accra New Town cells sites the same day.

On August 1, this year, the Police arrested Addo while Abotsi and Kabo escaped.

During police interrogation, Addo told the court that on July 15, this year, Abotsi and Kabo, who claimed to be working with Airtel Ghana, hired him to Airtel Sites at Gbawe and they stole 48 back up batteries valued at 72,000 dollars.

According to the prosecutor, Addo further alleged that on August 10, this year, the two accomplices hired him to steal back up batteries at Kokomlemle, Accra New Town and West Legon and that, they stole 72 batteries.

Prosecution said investigations have also revealed that Addo and his accomplices had undertaken similar operations in Kpetoe in the Volta Region with two vehicles.

Whiles mounting surveillance to arrest Addo’s accomplices, some unidentified persons left behind GH¢1,500 with a fuel Station Attendant and called the Police to go for the money so that Addo could be released.

The Police after waiting for four hours left the scene, because the unidentified persons did not show up.

Prosecution said the GH¢1,500, which was meant to bribe the Police, is in the custody of the Police as exhibit.