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Opinions of Saturday, 28 June 2014

Columnist: Akose Virginia

Complaint On Robbery At Scandinavian Lodge

(COMMUNITY 2 TEMA)

On the 27th May, this year, I came to Ghana from the US and lodged at the Scandinavia Lodge which is located at Community 2, Tema.

My booking was for 21 days starting from May 27th, 2014 to June 16th, 2014. I stayed in the place without any incident for 17 days but was robbed in the early hours of June 12th, 2014. I woke up at about 3:30am and went to the bathroom. On my return to bed I decided to take my mobile phone and put it on charge, but I could not find it in my handbag. I looked round and found that all my bags and make-up case had been moved to the entrance of the room and opened, and the door to my room had been opened and left ajar.

I discovered upon checking that my three (3) phones and one tablet (android) had been stolen as well as cash of $485.00 and GHC ¢950.00

The matter was reported to the Community 2 Police who came to the crime scene and discovered that the window to my room was opened and also found a dagger by the window left behind by the burglars.

The owners of the hotel and three (3) employees and a security man on duty were invited to the Police station to assist the Police in their investigations. After a short while they were released to go home. The management of the hotel did not show any concern about my plight and did not offer any apologies or regret for what happened.

The Community 2 Police and crime officer were eager to release the suspects without any proper investigation. They did not take the dagger away with the excuse that they do not have gloves to wear before they touch the weapon.

The burglars might have got into my room through the window which may have been left open by the staff and I was the only guest robbed that night. On previous occasions I came back from town to see that my door was opened and a cleaner was supposed to be there cleaning, but no cleaning was done and the cleaner was no where to be found.

At the Police Station I was given a medical form to go to Tema Poly Clinic for a medical checkup which I did and the report was submitted to the Police. I had to move out from the hotel to lodge with a friend and departed Ghana back to the US on June 16th 2014.

On the morning of Monday 16th June, 2014 the Police invited me to the Police Station at Community 2 and the owner of the hotel showed up with two (2) men and strangely enough the owner and the men accused me of entertaining visitors in my room that was why I was robbed which was false and showed how unsympathetic the owner was to my plight. The Police wanted me to stay behind for the case to be sent to court but unfortunately I could not delay my departure because of the huge penalty I would have to pay to the airline if I postponed my departure.

The purpose of my compliant is for the Tourist Board to check on the plan the hotel has in place for the protection and security of guests lodging at the Lodge because I have learnt that I’m the fourth (4th) guest who has been robbed this year at the place.

Secondly, Management of the Lodge did not show any concern about safety, the well-being and comfort of their clients as displayed in my case. The trauma I went through was harrowing but they did not show any concern and to add insult to injury blamed me for the robbery. This is not good for the hospitality industry in Ghana.

To the Inspector General of Police, I should be grateful if the Conduct and professionalism of the Crime Officer and his staff at the Community Two (2) Police Station can be investigated. The way the suspects were treated and released after a short while shows that the Police especially the Crime Officer may have some connection with the management of the hotel.

The Ghana Tourism Industry is one the major sources of revenue for the government and the hospitality industry plays an important role. With this attitude of hotel owners, are we encouraging visitors in to the country, most of whom are investors? Most of these visitors come to Ghana to explore an investment opportunity, by so doing create jobs for our rapidly growing population, and if we continue to make them uncomfortably, then what are we doing to our country? What image are presenting to the world as a whole. Please, something should be done.