Police cautioned to stop extorting monies from Cattle Dealers
5/13/2012 6:00:20 PM -
Bolgatanga, May 12, GNA - The Upper East Police Command has cautioned Policemen who extort monies from cattle dealers at barriers to desist from the practice or else they would be dealt with drastically when caught.
The Upper East Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (DCP) Bright Oduro issued the warning when the Bolgatanga Cattle Dealers Association (BOCADA) presented a dialogue paper complaining about the extortion of monies from them whenever they were transporting cattle from the Region to the southern sector for sale.
The Commander noted that it was wrong under the Police act for any police officer to extort monies on the road and asked the Cattle dealers to report such negative acts to his command for the necessary disciplinary action to be taken against those who violate the act.
DCP Oduro expressed worry about the reported deaths of the animals, while being transported, because of the delays caused by security agencies and instructed his officers to stop harassing the cattle dealers.
He also advised the Cattle dealers to acquire the necessary documents in order to avoid the frustration they usually go through and said he would liaise with his colleague, the Northern Regional Police Commander to see how he could assist.
The Regional Police Commander however advised Members of BOCADA to write formally to the Inspector General of Police stipulating how the numerous barriers and the alleged extortion of monies by the Police at the barriers were affecting their business.
According to the BOCADA, a research conducted by it revealed that there were about 36 police and CEPS barriers between Paga and Kumasi, 23 of which are police barriers, 7 are MTTU and 6 CEPS. Out of these 36 barriers, 23 are within the Upper East and Northern Regions.
The research also indicated that the numerous barriers were mounted because of the spate of armed robbery on the road but those had been turned into revenue collection points where the security agencies take between GHC10 to GHC30 from cattle dealers.
Members of BOCADA indicated that as a result of the problem they encounter with the security agencies, it reduced their income and slowed down the growth of their businesses. It also delayed movements, which affects their ability to make more trips.
Apart from the cattle dying from suffocation by staying packed in trucks for too long, the surviving ones becomes expensive at the final market place, which delay sales and promote cheating and bribery.
The Financial Secretary of BOCADA, Mr Adabre Ayambire stressed that the cattle business was one of the major livelihoods of the people in the Region since it employs over 5,000 people and also contributes about 9 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.
'It is also a source of income for several rural households, and is often referred to as a 'walking bank or financial reserves', serving as risk coping assets and buffer during crop failures and in the periods of economic stress. However our once lucrative business is crumbling due to certain challenges we face when transporting cattle to markets in Southern Ghana.