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16.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court fines traders one million cedis each

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Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - An Accra Magistrate Court sitting at the Community Centre on Wednesday fined 29 out of 37 traders who were arrested for selling their wares on the streets of Accra one million cedis each.

In default, they will go to prison for two months.

The court also ordered them to sign a bond to be of good behaviour for six months.

They pleaded guilty to obstructing free flow of traffic. Eight of them who pleaded not guilty were granted five million cedis bail each to reappear on March 2.

Presenting the facts of the case, Mr Daniel Nana Tawiah, Acting Chief Metro Guard told the court, presided over by Mrs Elizabeth Owusu Obeng that from February 12, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly began an exercise to decongest the central business district.

He said the traders had already been warned through the media and public address system to desist from selling on the streets and pavements, or face sanctions since these were unauthorised places. Mr Tawiah said 100 members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) task force, 230 metro guards and 12 Asafoatsemei, were tasked with the duty to carry out the exercise during which the accused persons were arrested.

He said those arrested on February 12 were asked to deposit their wares at the AMA office as a sign of guarantee to enable them to report on Wednesday for prosecution.

The Prosecutor told the court that the exercise would continue until the pavements and streets of the district were decongested. The Metro Guard appealed to all traders who had refused to sell in their stores and stalls to return to the market. He also urged those who had no stores in the market to go to the AMA office where they would have their allocations made.

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