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16.07.2004 Regional News

Drivers appealed to IGP

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Suhum (E/R), July 16, GNA - Drivers in the foodstuffs transportation along the Suhum-Nsawam-Accra highway have appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to stop with immediate effect, the regular harassment and extortion of money from them by policemen. Speaking to the GNA at Suhum on Thursday, Mr Daniel Awuah, a spokesman of a group of over 30 drivers, complained that police personnel detailed to check motor traffic on the highway have been harassing and extorting huge sums of money from them. He said on the 52-kilometre Suhum-Accra road, there were over five police barriers with about five policemen each, who allegedly collect between 30,000 cedis and 100,000 cedis from each driver without pointing out any offence to them.

According to Mr Awuah, any driver who dared to challenge them, risked having his vehicle documents, including driver's license, being impounded and asked to report later, adding that when the driver reports at a designated police station, he is placed in the cells and money extorted from him before being released.

He alleged that both the Motor Traffic Transport Unit (MTTU) and the police highway patrol teams extort money from the drivers and cautioned that if measures were not taken to curb the incidence as early as possible, the drivers would be forced to advise themselves as to other options to save themselves from the extortions. When contacted, a police source declined to comment on the allegation. July 16, 04

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