8 November 2018

Ghana: Police Make Biggest 'Wee' Arrest ... Reject Bribe From Suspects

THE Police have made one of the biggest 'wee' busts at Sege in the Dangme East District of the Greater Accra Region, seizing 21 bales containing 1,259 slabs of compressed dried leaves.

It is believed to be the largest concentrated cannabis seizure in the region.

Also retrieved were 93 balls of compacted dried leaves - all of which were later confirmed to be cannabis sativa (wee), by experts from the Forensic Crime Laboratory of the Ghana Police Service.

The total weight of the substance is 1,131,760 grammes (1,131.76 kilogrammes), according to the police, with the street value estimated to run into several thousands of Ghana cedis.

The 'masterminds' of the illegal drug haul are Nigerians who are currently being tried at an Accra High Court.

Narrating how the operation all began, Chief Inspector Abraham Ablorh Sowah of the Dawa police said on October 27, 2015, the Sege police had intelligence that some bags of substance suspected to be cannabis satisva were kept in a room at Mataheko, near Sege.

Detective Chief Inspector George Quainoo of the Sege police and his colleagues managed to locate the room where the substance were kept and laid ambush upon which he Chief Inspector Sowah was detailed to bring reinforcement and preceded to the crime scene to recover the substance.

The police were then said to have proceeded to a junior high school (JHS) to trace one Elvis Sakplavi whose room the cannabis were kept but was not around.

Days later, whilst efforts were being made to trail the culprits, a suspect by name Obina West, approached the Sege police and said that the substance belonged to his brothers living in Nigeria and as such would like to negotiate for its (cannabis) release.

Chief Inspector Sowah told the Ghanaian Times that the police feigned interest and asked the suspect to inform his brothers to come down to complete the deal.

The other suspects - Kingsley Ikechuku Omeji and Okechi Chibuzor were arrested on arrival supposedly from Nigeria, after trying to bribe the police with a cash amount of GH¢9,000 for the release of the substance.

On November 30, one other suspect Joe Tetteh Obuor, who the Nigerians alleged had collected GH¢20,000 from them - ostensibly to "see" the police, was picked up.

The 11 officers, who executed the operation, may have thumped their hands into the air in celebration after intercepting the substance.

However, the gleaming joy that came with the big arrest on Sunday, November 29, 2015, appears to have evaporated into thin air - after failing to elicit the expected recognition.

The joy of the arresting officers was steeped in the conviction that they were going to be promoted, after the massive bust.

Indeed, they had seen three of their colleagues elevated last year for arresting 'only' 70 slabs of the same substance at the Tema Lorry Station, in Accra.

A source at the Police Headquarters told the Ghanaian Times on Tuesday that initially the Police Service had wanted to award the arresting officers with medals.

"However, on realising the large quantity of the substance, the Service thought a promotion would rather serve as good motivation," the source said.

After waiting for two years without any sign of elevation, the Sege and Dawa police officers on September 22, last year, jointly petitioned the Inspector General of Police to consider them for promotion - but there has not been any response as of the time of filing this story.

When contacted on Tuesday, the Sege District Commander, DSP George Aboagye, confirmed the story, but said he was not in charge of the district at the time of the operation - as he took over from ASP B.A. Buxton, in 2017.

However, he commended the arresting officers for a great job done, believing they deserve to be honoured to serve as motivation to others.

"Indeed, when I took over last year, I wrote a reminder to the Police Administration for the police officers to be promoted. As I speak now, we have not heard anything from them. Maybe, it is being considered; I can't tell for now," he said.

DSP Aboagye also rejected speculations making the rounds that the substance had vanished from the police exhibit room and took the Ghanaian Times there to see the evidence for itself.

Other police officers who took part in the operation are Chief Inspector, Prosper K. Fianyeku, G/Sgt. Mohammed Allah-Bani, D/Cpl. Kenneth Kuatsikor, G/Cpl. William Kwesi Boateng, G/Cpl. John Anyegre, G/Cpl. Michael Gyamena, G/Cpl. Michael Ofosu, G/Cpl. Nashiru Naazah and G/Cpl. Attram K. Boateng.

A petition by ASP B.A Buxton, then Sege District Commander, submitted to the Police Headquarters in Accra on September 22, 2017, and sighted by the Ghanaian Times, urged the Police Administration to promote the arresting officers "as done to some police personnel who arrested 70 slabs of the same substance at the Tema lorry station in Accra.

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