Policemen in uniform were caught on camera siphoning fuel in barrels from a petrol tanker that was involved in an accident at Adadientem, a village near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, at the weekend.
Reports indicate that the police, who reported at the scene of the accidents, did nothing to stop the locals who were engrossed in the dangerous act of siphoning fuel from the tanker. Rather, the men in uniform did the unthinkable.
The police, who reported at the scene, were prepared to make some gains out of the accident. They helped themselves to the booty by scooping draining fuel from the tanker into barrels, which they kept in one of the new fleet on Nissan patrol pick-up vehicles handed to the Police Service recently, to ensure that the people of Ghana were protected from crime.
Although there have been no reports of fatality in the accident, the owner of the tanker. The Chronicle learnt, lost all 36,000 litres of diesel to the police officers and marauding local residents.
The accident brings to mind a similar one which happened at Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana, where 25 people were burnt beyond recognition, when they attempted to collect fuel from a petrol tanker that was involved in an accident.
In this instance the residents were busily collecting the fuel when the tanker burst into flames, killing 25 persons and injuring many others.
The memory of this incident, which became a major talking point during that period, could not have soon found an easy exit from the memories of local residents, who went on the adventure with the fallen tanker at Adadientem, together with their police counterparts.
The conduct of the police officers in the fuel raid has apparently registered negatively on their bosses at their headquarters in Accra.
DCOP Rose Bio Atinga, Director General of Administration, who has been highly tipped to become the first women Inspector General of Police in Ghana, told The Chronicle yesterday that the police administration had ordered a high level enquiry into the circumstances under which these police officers are being perceived as having brought the police administration, and policing as a profession, into disrepute.
“It has come to our notice [and] we have directed that the case should be investigated,” she told this paper.
She said the police profession was guided by rules and regulations, and all persons who go contrary to these rules and regulations must be prepared to face the music.
“We are not above the law…so the law will take its course,” the Director General of Administration stated.
At the weekend, television cameras brought pictures of police officers scooping petrol from the fallen tanker into people’s living rooms.
At the time of going to press, it was not known whether or not the petrol scooped from the fallen tanker was used for police operations.
The word out there, thought, is that the policemen involved might have made a buck or two on the open market with their booty.