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09.08.2004 Crime & Punishment

Hardened criminal arrested at Aflao

Hardened criminal arrested at Aflao
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Aflao, Aug 9, GNA - Security personnel at the Ghana side of the border with Togo at Aflao, last Thursday, arrested a man described as a "hardened criminal" in an operation to curb the activities of robbers and pick pockets in the area. Yaovi Akpaka regarded as the "number one" criminal at the frontier is said to have often threatened security personnel openly. His three accomplices, whose names were not available, are on the run.
Akpaka, who has a number of cases against him pending before the courts, had over the weeks evaded arrest.
Sources close to the Security agencies told the GNA that about two weeks ago, Akpaka accused a Gambian in transit of making a phone call at a restricted area and seized his mobile phone.
They said that on Thursday, the suspect in the company of his three accomplices threatened and robbed one Ayitsata, a 17 year-old lady from Benin of CFA 400,000 francs.
They said Akpaka and his gang posed as plain-cloth security officers detailed to check for fake currencies and demanded that Ayitsata, who was on her way to Accra, hand over the money on her for a check. When she refused, the group threatened her and Akpaka stretched his hands into Ayitsata's under pant and picked the money.
Many travellers and traders have lost huge amounts over the last two weeks with an Ivorian woman alone losing about 51 million cedis early last week.
The sources said the activities of criminals, some as young as 13 years had become a source of worry and appealed to the courts to deal sternly with those arrested and arraigned.
They said the Ketu District Security Committee (DISEC) at an emergency meeting, had re-called a military detachment, which was withdrawn from the frontier a few weeks ago. Akpaka is being prepared for court soon.