The absence of scanners at the country’s prisons has contributed to people smuggling illicit goods to prisoners in the cells, Supt Vitalis Aiyeh, Chief Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS), has disclosed.
He said contraband items which were retrieved by officers on duty during hand search on visitors include cannabis, mobile phones and cigarettes, among others, which were concealed in yams, wigs, shoes, bars of soap and canned foods.
Supt Aiyeh said these in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Monday, stating that such search by officers warrant comments from the visitors who complained of harassment.
He said to track these contraband goods, officers had to be very vigilant to detect them, adding that with the scanners the work would be easy, and people could not outwit them.
“We do not have scanners so we have been doing manual search with our hands and visitors complain especially the women. We really need help,” he said.
Supt Aiyeh said persons, including prisons officers, who were found with such items on them have been arrested and some serving various sentences.
He cautioned visitors to desist from smuggling such goods, adding that offenders would be arrested and prosecuted.
He appealed to government and other organisations to provide the prisons with the scanners to help monitor such contraband goods from entering the facilities.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI AND AGNES OPOKU SARPONG