A total of 13 persons including four soldiers and an immigration officer have been arrested at Konongo in the Ashanti Region for allegedly engaging in unauthorised operations at Mantin in the Bosome-Freho District of the Ashanti Region.
They were arrested by National Security Operatives with the assistance of the Konongo Divisional Police Command on Friday with one Chinese national they had arrested in their company prior to being accosted.
The four soldiers have been identified as Warrant Officer (WO) Boateng, Corporal Otibu Dacosta, Private Bruce Afful and L. S Asomay while the immigration officer was identified as Assistant Immigration Control Officer Emmanuel Acheampong.
Furthermore, the civilians including those in military uniforms were, Bernard Nyarko, Nana Amoako Arthur, Odei Michael, Nana Danquah, Prince Boakye, Asare Francis, Appiah Francis, Darkey Michael, Atitsogbe Bismark and Eric Addo.
A source at the National Security headquarters in Accra told the Ghanaian Times that a search conducted led to the seizure of three locally manufactured single barrel guns, one pump action rifle, three knives, two heavy duty batteries, one pepper spray, dummy taser and cash amount of GH¢18,870.00 from them.
The source further noted that the suspects were transported to Kumasi and were currently being held in close custody at 4 Infantry Battalion and Headquarters Central Command guardrooms with the exception of the GIS officer and the Chinese national, who were handed over to GIS HQ in Kumasi.
It noted that the involvement of soldiers in unauthorised operations and the use of military uniforms by civilians were becoming rife in recent times despite efforts by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to clamp down on the menace.
“It is expected that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the activities of the group and disciplinary action taken against them if found culpable to serve as deterrence to others,” the source said.
Meanwhile a statement issued by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in Accra yesterday and signed by Chief Superintendent of Immigration, Michael Amoako-Atta, head of Public Affairs, said the service had taken note of the widely circulated incident in which a group of persons including an immigration officer was alleged to have been terrorising miners within mining communities in the Ashanti Region.
The statement said the officer whose service identity card went viral on social media had been identified and was assisting in investigations.
“The GIS wishes to dissociate itself from the misconduct of the said officer if investigations prove that he was involved in the incident.
Management wishes to assure the general public that investigations has begun and the said officer or any other person involved in the incident will not be spared if found guilty,” the statement stressed.
FROM KINGSLEY HOPE, KUMASI AND CLIFF EKUFUL, ACCRA