Story from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor, Larteh
Residents of Larteh and its environs in the Akuapem North Municipality of the Eastern Region are living in fear, following increased activities of grave looting in the area.
Even though the residents admitted that the activities of the grave looters started some three months ago, it has seen an upsurge in recent times, with some of the dugout bodies being either set ablaze or have their parts removed.
The residents have, therefore, called on the authorities and traditional council to step up security to ensure that the practice is halted.
The Assembly Member for Larteh Akanstane Electoral Area, Thomas Panti Ayisi, confirming the story to The Chronicle, expressed worry over the development.
“In recent times, I have been getting reports of such activities going on, and so I decided to see things for myself. I went to the place, and what I saw was despicable and beats human imagination.
“They force open graves and bring out the bones of the person, burn some parts and take away some vital parts, leaving only the skull,” he revealed.
According to him, a community watchdog committee had already been formed to monitor the place and arrest the unscrupulous people who are into the act.
He, however, told this reporter that he suspected some of the watchdog committee members of leaking information to the grave looters.
“The identity and motive of the perpetrators of the act are not known. I am preparing [an] official report on the incident to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and the police for investigations to commence”, he said.
He, however, suspected rituals as the driving force behind looting. Ayisi cautioned that, if the issue was not immediately resolved, it would create insecurity in the area and negatively affect the socio-economic and psychological well-being of residents.
“Apprehending the perpetrators would boost the confidence of the people and make them secure. I am, therefore, appealing to the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) and traditional authorities to team up and bring the problem to an end,” he added.
Sources at the Akropong District Police Command further confirmed the act, saying a young man had been arrested in connection with the crime, and that the suspect is currently standing trial at the Akropong Circuit Court.