A woman who attempted to smuggle 1,000 bags of 50 kilograms of fertiliser meant for Planting for Food and Jobs (FPJs) into Burkina Faso, was on Thursday arrested by the Police in Navrongo in the Upper East Region.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Ms Paulina Patience Abayage, who confirmed this to the Ghanaian Times at the weekend, said the police intercepted the fertiliser at the Paga border at about 6:30PM on Thursday and arrested Isha Ibrahim, the alleged culprit.
According to her, the arrest followed a tip off by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) who had been on a high alert following a similar incident recently in the region.
The Regional Minister indicated that when the Navrongo Police arrived at the scene, the culprits were removing the PFJs stickers on the bags in the Ghana registered truck before transferring them onto the Burkina Faso registered truck.
“As at the time of the arrest, 350 bags had been transferred into the Burkina Faso truck with registration number 11-HJ2944, and the remaining 650 in the Ghanaian truck also with the registration number AS 928-13,” Ms Abayage said.
The Regional Minister further explained that the truck with the Ghanaian registration number was loaded with bags of fertilizer with PFJs stickers embossed on the bags while the Burkinabe truck was loaded with fertiliser without stickers embossed on the bags.
“Now this is what they were doing; they were removing the stickers of the FPJs embossed on the bags of fertilizer, tearing the stickers into pieces, and after they’ve removed and torn the stickers into pieces, they would transfer it onto the Burkina Faso truck. These fertiliser bags were the 50 kilogram bags. As at the time they
got there, they had transferred 350 bags from the Ghana truck after removing the stickers onto the Burkina Faso truck and then what was on the Ghana truck was 650 bags. So in total, the articulated truck had brought into Navrongo, 1000 bags of 50 kilogram weight fertiliser and they had transferred 350 onto the Burkina Faso truck. They were in the process when the police got there,” the Regional Minister narrated.
The Police in Novrongo said the driver of the Burkinabe truck absconded before they got to the scene, but they managed to arrest the driver of the Ghanaian truck and Isha Ibrahim, the prime suspect.
“When I visited the Police station this morning, the consignee, Aisha Ibrahim and the driver of the Ghana truck were in police custody giving their statements”, the Upper East Regional Minister stated, adding that “as at the time of my visit, the driver of the Burkina Faso truck had still not been found.”
Aisha and the driver are expected to appear in court today.
It would be recollected that in June last month two trucks that were loaded with 4,000 bags of fertilisers also meant for the PFJs heading towards Burkina Faso were intercepted at the Paga border town by the Police.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO