General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
Security expert with the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC) says the ‘bugs’ found in the Lands Minister’s office is the tip of the iceberg.
Dr Kwasi Aning believes the country must concentrate on how to improve the critical structures to ensure those in authority are protected and briefed about their personal and official security.
“I think if were we to sweep every government ministry and private contractor working on behalf of government, we will see a lot of these [bugs],” he said.
His comments follow the discovery of an audiovisual recording device believed to have been secretly planted in the office of the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu. Joy News understands National Security operatives retrieved the suspected bug after they embarked on a routine screening exercise at the Ministry late June.
It was planted in the huge Coat of Arms plaque hanging in the far left corner of the Minister’s office.
The powerful secret recording set-up included a camera, a storage unit and another device suspected to be a transmitter. The highly sensitive device which can even pick a whisper 35 feet away, is neatly housed in a black metal box and uses batteries.
It is unclear who put it there and how long it has been there. The Minister has been on the forefront of the nation’s fight against illegal mining since he was appointed in January 2017.
Dr Anning commenting on the development said, “It is not only the minister who must be alarmed but the whole country particularly those who take state decisions particularly to do with national interest.” He added that it is crucial the way that they are briefed in terms of how they handle their personal and official security.
According to him, it is paramount that their security is checked and rechecked to ensure that what is happening now does not happen again.
Dr Anning said he is not surprised because “when you do the kind of things that governments do naturally people will fight back especially dealing with small scale mining which is a multi-billion industry.”
The security expert who said he is not surprised added that it could be the work of security companies who want to win a government contract.
He explained that such individuals or companies might want to expose those who take security decisions and turn around with a promise of finding a solution.
Dr Anning said this is not the first time such an incident is happening and it is entirely possible that this video could be recording locally and transmitting via satellite to an abroad station.
“In 1997/8 prior to the Nairobi and Darussalam bombings, we arrested people in this country who have sewn in their T-Shirts a crest within which was embedded a pinhole camera.
“The transmission van has been brought in this country. Those individuals were transmission information on our critical partners via the embassies,” he said.
He said this is the beginning as the country moves towards a middle-income status for the country to invest and pay more attention to its security.