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18.10.2003 Regional News

Power Cheat Exposed• He Faces Prosecution

By Joe Isaac Haizel, Takoradi
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An Indian national resident in Takoradi, Mr N. Khatri, who succeeded in cheating the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) of ¢24.5 million through illegal connection has been apprehended in an operation mounted by the company.

Mr Khatri, who is the proprietor of Shalimar Restaurant in Takoradi, was caught using two air-conditioners in his house at Chapel Hill, which were not connected to the main meter.

Mr Jonathan Asante, Western Regional Co-ordinator of the Loss Control Unit of the ECG, told the Graphic that Khatri used an equipment known as a breaker, and hid it in his bedroom to hinder the detection of the illegal connection by ECG officials.

However, Khatri’s criminal activity was reported to the ECG by a “good Samaritan” and a team from the ECG visited Khatri’s house where they assessed his electrical connection. He said when Mr Khatri was confronted, he denied knowledge of any illegal connection.

Mr Asante said the team, however, insisted on assessing the power connection in the house and it was during the exercise that the illegal connection was detected and the breaker seized.

According to Mr Asante, Mr Khatri had since the detection of the incident, paid ¢15 million as part of the accumulated electricity bill. He said the ECG has given him up to November 15 to settle the arrears.

Mr Asante pointed out that the issue has been rectifiedand a metre has now been fixed outside the premises for easy reading. He pointed out that the ECG would refer the matter to its legal department for possible prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said the illegal connection menace was rampant in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and stressed that the company has mounted an intensive exercise to clamp down on all offenders.

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