General News of Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Former National Security Coordinator, Kofi Bentum Quantson, has described as worrying the seizure of arms and ammunition in recent times by the security agencies.
A vehicle with a huge number of cartridges was on Monday impounded by custom officials at the Aflao border in the Volta Region last week.
Custom officers in the region impounded the vehicle which was carrying over one million packs of short cartridges or bullets together with sealed packs of dried leaves believed to be Indian hemp.
According to officials, the same vehicle has made about six entries into Ghana per the records, and it is feared the same items were being cart into the country from either Nigeria or Togo.
The items were concealed in a compartment on the floor of the vehicle.
About a fortnight ago, police in the Ashanti Region also arrested an Ivorian national with a large cache of arms and ammunition.
The suspect, 72-year old Moro Sata claims to have received the arms from Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Niger. Also arrested were four Ghanaian accomplices whose names were not disclosed by the police for security reasons.
The arms included anti-aircraft guns. Other arms and ammunition seized were 11 AK 47 assault rifles, 10 G3s, 45 automatic sidearm, 9mm AK 47 tracer ammunition, one machine gun, one clocking handing, 45 automatic G3 ammunition, four firing pins and five 12.7mm ammunition.
Sata was said to have mentioned Abdul Kadri Aria, another Ivorian, as the source of the arms supplies.
According to the police, some of the automatic guns can fire continuously for six hours unless they are destroyed by rocket-propelled grenades.
Speaking on these developments, the former National Security boss described the news as disturbing particularly when the country will go to the polls in 2016.
“It is worrisome if it is 1 million cartridges; but I noticed that it is the cartridges for the short gun. All the same, I would like to find out whether they were meant for local consumption or they went for re-smuggling outside Ghana. Everything that has to do with arms and ammunition being smuggled, and that is a cause for worry,” he said.