The Western Regional Police Command, has warned the public about the influx of criminals and increased activities of 419 scams in the region since last year when the oil and
gas activities got to its peak.
He assured that the police and the other security agencies are up to the task and would deal firmly with the fraudsters.
The Western Regional Police Commander, DCOP Alhaji Hamidu Mahama, gave this warning when he presented an overview of the crime situation in the region from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of2010 at end of year (WASSA) programme here on Friday.
Advance Fee Fraud known as 419 which hitherto was little known in the Western Region has suddenly emerged due largely to the recent oil find in the region.
“Unsuspecting individuals are stripped off their hard won fortunes by these miscreants”, DCOP Alhaji Mahama told the gathering.
He said that, in the first quarter of 2009, 375 fraud cases were reported as against 562 in the first quarter of 2010 saying that the percentage increase for the period was 33.3
“Even though we had a difference of plus 187, we have arrested all of them and dealt with them”.
The Police Commander further explained that some of the 419 fraudsters told their victims that they had special drilling pipes meant for sale to Tullow Oil Company to sell to them (victims) at $1,500 per pipe so they can sell them to Tullow at $2,700.
Others too, he said, claimed that they had charm diets which if fed to marine life, could multiply fishes in the sea.
“They also ask you to pay $1,000 in advance for a total cost of $3,000,” he said, adding, “all these are lies”.
According to DCOP Alhaji Mahama, the oil find had attracted to the region people of diverse nationalities who are desperate “to hit the jackpot” adding “But we’re on the ground to get them.
“People are coming to see what’s happening. But whoever comes with ill motive will be not succeed.
The Navy, the Air Force, the Police and the other security agencies have arrested a number of them and put them before the courts,” he stated.
He further warned, “They can ran, but they cannot hide”. Meanwhile, the commander reported that there had seen a significant reduction in major crimes like murder, attempted murder, narcotics and defilement.
The figures for murder, and attempted murder reduced but robbery, for example went up from the first quarter of 2009 compared to 2010.
Murder reduced from nine to eight, attempted murder six to four while robbery went up from three to eight.
“This is as a result of the [roper monitoring and regular intensification of police patrols and police-public corporation.
DCOP Mahama added: “We will not allow anybody to turn the wheel of progress back.”
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) the Western Naval Command (WNC) Commodore Tim S. Appiah called for cooperation between the police and the navy to combat crime and maintain the stability and progress of the region.