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06.05.2008 Crime & Punishment

Man Arrested for Stealing Rail Sleepers

By Daily Graphic
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The police in Tema have arrested a 26-year-old man, Abdul Raman, for allegedly stealing two steel sleepers, valued at $100, belonging to the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL).

He stole the sleepers from a rail line that links the Tema Steel Works and Achimota in Accra. The suspect was arrested after reports of rampant thefts of rails and steel sleepers by the management of the GRCL.

Steel sleepers as components that, together with knots, are used in the construction of railway lines to support the rail on a rail track.

About 300 steel sleepers were identified to have been removed from the four-kilometre rail line which has not been functional for some years now.

The suspect is in police custody and will be put before court for prosecution.

The Tema Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Oliver Turkson, speaking to the Daily Graphic, said following the reports, a team of policemen posed as businessmen and feigned interest in buying the steel sleepers.

Inspector Turkson said while there, they spotted Raman who surfaced on the rail line and started removing the sleepers.

She said upon negotiation, the suspect agreed on GH¢9 for one steel sleeper. Inspector Turkson said the accomplices of the suspect who assisted in the alleged stealing case escaped arrest when they realised that Raman was in danger.

Inspector Turkson said the police would continue to mount surveillance on the rail lines to ensure that activities of thieves were brought under control because they had a serious adverse effect on the economy.

She warned that any one found operating illegally on the rail lines would be arrested and prosecuted. Inspector Turkson said their activities could thwart the efforts of the government to operationalise the country's rail system.

Inspector Turkson also cautioned scrap dealers to find out the source of the steel items they bought from dealers to avoid trouble.

She appealed to the public to volunteer information to the police on the activities of people who dealt in stolen goods, including scraps, for the law to deal with them.

Story by Rose Hayford Darko

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