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17.03.2009 General News

B.A. Minister To Wage War on Smuggling

By Ian Motey, Sunyani/Dormaa - newtimesonline.com
B.A. Minister To Wage War on Smuggling
MAR 17, 2009 GENERAL NEWS

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has said that security will be high on the regional agenda, mindful of other priorities like improvement in agriculture, potable water and education.

"Consequently, adequate measures will be put in place to beef up security at the region's border with neighbouring La Cote d'Ivoire to curb nefarious activities such as smuggling", he said, adding that "smuggling of cocoa, fuel and lumber are on the ascendancy along the region's frontiers".

Mr Nyamekye-Marfo announced this on Friday when he toured Nkrankwanta, Ahimakrom, Yaakrom, Gonokrom and Kofibadukrom all border posts in the Dormaa West District and the Dormaa municipality.

He was accompanied by various regional heads of the security services.

He said the visit was to ascertain the level of smuggling and also get first had information about the general security situation on the ground.

Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said briefings given him by his security chiefs since assuming office three weeks ago indicated that smuggling of fuel across the border was on the ascendancy.

He said, the government would not look on unconcern while a few greedy people benefited at the expense of the majority of Ghanaians and warned that anyone caught in the act of smuggling would face the full rigours of the law.

At the various borders posts visited, the Minister asked the Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS), Immigration, Police, Army and Fire Service personnel to be vigilant.

He asked them to inspect transit vehicles, since some of them were noted for smuggling fuel in false compartments built under the vehicles.

Mr Nyamekye-Marfo told the personnel that government appreciated the difficult conditions under which they worked, noting that some of these problems including lack of logistics, vehicles, accommodation and offices would soon be addressed.

He said the issue of provision of motorbikes to ensure that the borders were well patrolled and protected would receive immediate attention.

Alex J.K.D. Awu Yaw, the CEPS Officer-in-charge of the Nkrankwanta post, thanked the Minister for the visit and requested that such visits be frequent so that their concerns could be taken care of.

He assured the Minister that smuggling might not be as rampant as it was being perceived but identified some of their problems as lack of enough personnel and the poor nature of roads in the area which were militating against their operations.

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