161 Stowaways Arrested
Arrested for attempting to stow away
Security personnel at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have apprehended a total of 161 persons who attempted to stow away.
Out of the number – made up of nationals from Ghana, Nigeria and Mali – 87 were arrested last year while 74 have been nabbed this year, hiding in containers.
Thirty-four of them were reported to have succeeded in the illegal activity last year, while 10 successfully went through the Tema and the Takoradi ports.
Six Ghanaians were recently apprehended at the Abidjan Port in Cote d’Ivoire for attempting to stow away to Europe.
Security personnel at the Tema port also foiled another attempt at the last Thursday, involving eight persons, who tried to conceal themselves in a container on board a vessel.
The Ghanaians are currently in police custody, pending investigations, while some foreigners who were earlier arrested have been repatriated for prosecution in their home countries.
International Maritime World recently classified Ghana Port as the second worst port in the country as a result of some illegal activities which had destroyed its image at the international level.
Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Bataa-Bannah, Port Security Head, speaking during a press briefing, mentioned that following recent illegal activities at the country’s ports, serious security measures had been put in place to curb such menace.
According to him, stowaways constitute an organised movement to breach the access control at the ports by using the open tops of containers.
He said stowing away is an offence and advised like-minded people to desist from such a practice.
The port security head said, ‘To clean the port of criminal practices with the objective to make the port the cleanest place to do business is one of our priorities.’
In a related development, the port expressed worry about a recent development where some miscreants use the name of the GPHA for their fraudulent transactions on the internet, and advised the public to be mindful of such people.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema
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