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01.02.2007 Crime & Punishment

Seven Plotters Arrested

By Eunice Asiedu Kotoku, Tema
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The police at Tema on Monday arrested seven people for vandalising some properties of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) during a demonstration against the company over unpaid wages.

The seven were among some 50 workers who went on a demonstration here on Friday to demand the payment of their delayed wages and end-of-service benefits.

The demonstrators besieged the offices of the CMC and destroyed properties, including louver blades and a vehicle. They also allegedly assaulted some officials of the company.

Besides that, they blocked the western half of the motorway roundabout which leads to the Tema Harbour thus holding up traffic on the motorway for more than 30 minutes.

Those arrested were named as Abdulai Zibo, Umbah Sampandi, Kwame Sappah, Mohammed Yusifu, Hamza Mohammed, Joseph Teye and Abdulai Adama, all aged between 28 and 30 years.

Briefing the Times, Chief Superintendent Joshua Dogbeda, Tema Regional Crime Officer, said the CMC on January 2 sublet part of its functions to a number of contractors including B-Logistics, Ashore, and the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU).

Consequently, the workers are no longer directly under CMC, adding that those workers were paid every two weeks. Last Friday, all the contracting firms except the ICU paid their workers.

The workers of ICU became infuriated and started agitating for their money. The CMC, although not dealing with them directly issued a cheque for them to be paid, but as it was late in the day, they were asked to come the following day for the money.

According to Mr Dogbeda, the workers returned on Saturday and were paid. But on Monday, they returned to demand the payment of end of service benefits from the CMC where they had worked for five years.

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