Criminals use S-18 mobile phones to impersonate as security operatives

The use of S-18 mobile phones, similar to gota, commonly used by the security agencies has provide a fertile platform for people to impersonate security operatives.

This is because the phone, with similar features as the gota, is now selling on the open market.

Consequently, people with criminal motives, and aware of the operations of this brand of phone, have resorted to its use portraying themselves as security operatives and either harassing or defrauding people, a situation described by security agencies as criminal and advised the public to demand identity cards from people using them and claiming to be National Security agents and other security operative anytime they are confronted.

The security agencies advise that anyone who fails to establish his identity, should be arrested and handed over to the police.

The caution came in the wake of The Ghanaian Times investigations of some people parading themselves as National Security, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and other security operatives, and using the phones.

Last week, The Ghanaian Times witnessed an incident at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, in which two men claiming to be National Security operatives molested a trader, claiming he (the trader) had sold goods to them at a price well above that on the market.

When their identities were demanded, they could not produce them, but rather, used the phones to identify themselves from National Security.

Eyewitnesses at the scene told The Ghanaian Times of similar incidents they encountered, noting that some civilians they know in their communities have suddenly been parading themselves as security operatives by the use of such phones.

They, therefore, appealed to the Police Administration and other security agencies to educate the public on the differences between the security phones (gota) and the S-18, to prevent them from falling prey to scammers.

The Public Relations Officer of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Joseph Benefo Darkwa, says it is criminal to impersonate.

He says until the advent of the phones on the market, anyone using such a phone was identified as security personnel, warning, “the mere fact of using a phone like that of the security” does not give room for people to impersonate.

Some people The Ghanaian Times spoke with at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, said that brand of phones have suddenly been on high demand, apparently because of its durability and longevity, after charge.

Madam Adwoa Donkor, who plies her trade in front of the Vodafone Headquarters at Circle, told the paper that people prefer the S-18 phones from China to other phones, saying apart from its having three SIM components, it can also last for two weeks or even a month, after a charge.

Besides, it has light which is very clear in the night; and can be used to whatsapp and has additional battery outlet to charge other phones whenever a power goes out.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour

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