Police chase Fire Service over GH¢30K loot at accident scene

The Konongo Police Command is on the heels of the Konongo Fire Service to produce its Rescue Crew to help in an investigation into alleged looting of GH¢30,000 at an accident scene.

The Fire Service personnel allegedly used their rescue service to loot the said money and personal effects of the late Paramount Chief of Sekyere Kwamang Traditional Area, Barima Bretwum Okyere Bediako II, who died in a road accident on the Konongo-Kumasi Highway.

According to the police source, on December 22, last year, the Konongo Fire Service Rescue Crew (names withheld) responded to a distress call to rescue accident victims trapped in a mangled vehicle that had been involved in a road crash at Triple Lane near Odumasi on the Konongo Kumasi highway.

However, on their arrival at the scene, the police source said, the Fire Service crew allegedly conducted spot checks on the three dead persons in their 4×4 vehicle, and retrieved a total amount of GH¢30,000 and an I-phone from the bag of the late Paramount Chief of Sekyere Kwamang.

The Chronicle also gathered that the fire personnel failed to disclose same to the police after the latter took over the mangled vehicle and commenced investigations. The police source further disclosed that for more than two weeks after the accident, the Fire Service Command never mentioned that such items were retrieved by its personnel and were in its possession.

The source said police intelligence, however, revealed the alleged ‘criminal’ conduct of the fire personnel, and subsequently invited the Konongo Fire Service Command on January 5, this year, to help in investigations. It came to light in the course of the investigation that a bag belonging to the deceased Chief and his I-phone were in possession of some of the fire personnel.

The Chronicle source said when the Fire Service Command was asked about the whereabouts of the money, it could not offer ready answers, and this arouse the suspicion of the polide that something fishy might have gone on.

According to the police source, there was evidence that the suspects allegedly attempted to decode the deceased’s I-phone without success.

The Municipal Fire Service Commander in charge of Asante Akim Central, Richard Aweso, confirmed the incident in an interview with The Chronicle, and said one of the Fire Service Crew members was the prime suspect, because he was found to be in possession of the late Chief’s bag and his I-phone.

Asked why his outfit failed to inform the police about the items retrieved at the accident scene, but decided to keep them, the Municipal Fire Commander said it was only the suspect who could answer the question.

Mr. Aweso, however, disclosed that the Konongo police had formally written to the Fire Service Command to release the said Fire Service Rescue Crew members who were on duty to the police for further investigations into the case.

The Paramount Chief of Sekyere Kwamang Traditional Area, Barima Bretwum Okyere Bediako II, known in private life as George Osei Bretwum, was travelling from Kumasi towards Accra on December 22, 2021 in his 4×4 unregistered vehicle, marked DV 4446-CD-21, with two other persons on board.

His vehicle, however, ran into a mini-bus with registration number ER 884-21 near Odumasi on the Accra-Kumasi highway.

The 41-year-old late Kwamanghene, until his tragic death, was a police officer stationed at the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Headquarters, Accra.

From C. K. Clement, Konongo A/A


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