Customs intercepts arms and cash booty
By: Samuel Agbewode, Aflao
The Customs officer in-charge of the last check point at the Aflao border has intercepted arms together with an unspecified amount of foreign cash at the border post.
Mr. Dan Molley, who narrated the incident, said at about 9:48 p.m. on May 18, 2012, a Daf vehicle with registration number XV163/FSP, pulled out from the Togolese side of the border heading to Aflao with bolt and nuts fixed all over it, an observation that raised the suspicions of the security personnel.
The intercepted it and informed Mr. Molley who ordered a thorough inspection of the vehicle.
Mr. Molley continued that upon seeing the vehicle at that time of the night, he ordered that the inspection be carried out on the vehicle on the following day, noting that during interrogation, the driver of the Daf vehicle said the vehicle was only carrying a number of wax prints.
He stressed that even though the driver mentioned wax prints as the load, he ordered a thorough search of the vehicle. At this point, the driver asked permission to go and urinate, but was not coming back for quite some time.
As the law states that the owner of goods must be present whenever checks are conducted, there was some delay until it became clear that the driver and his mate had bolted, and a search was conducted on the vehicle.
Mr. Molley said it was during the search that the 50 new pump action guns were found concealed in compartments of the vehicle, as well as huge sums of dollars, CFA and Naira and four cartridges without a single piece of wax print.
He added that the monies were sent to the bank at Aflao, where it was detected that they were good valid currencies, which were recorded as $60,000 dollars in 100 notes.
The Aflao Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Seth Dovlo, said the officers involved in the interception of the vehicle and the arms needed to be rewarded with promotion, as well as cash, as a way to motivate them to enable ensure effective protection at the border.
Answering questions as to whether similar arms were not being smuggled into the country without their knowledge, Mr. Dovlo gave the assurance that so far, no weapons had been smuggled into the country through that border post.
The Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ford Kamel, has stressed the need to strengthen activities at the various entry points in the country, and equip the security agencies at the nation’s border posts, particularly the Aflao border, in order not to only check illegal cross border activities, but also to prevent the unlawful entries of illegal arms.
Mr. Kamel noted that the nation had entered a crucial period of elections, and that the government would do everything possible to stop people who would want to device ways of destabilising the 2012 general elections.
The Regional Minister, who was speaking to the media after personnel of the Custom Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) at the Aflao border briefed him on the incident, gave the assurance that problems confronting security operations at the Aflao border would be closely looked at by government and addressed.
“Ghana is in an election year, and illegal transportation of arms into the country should be a major concern to Ghanaians, particularly government, but government would make the necessary efforts to ensure peace before, during, and after the elections,” he stressed.
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