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11.12.2002 General News

¢1.8 Billion Phone Cards Missing At Ghana Telecom

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Several months of undercover investigations by a crack team of “The Vanguards” have identified a gang that has succeeded within the past one year to steal over ¢1.8 billion worth of phone cards imported by the Ghana Telecommunication Company and sold to the public. The gang whose name The Vanguard is withholding for now includes some very senior personnel of Ghana Telecom. Afgo and two clearing agencies all based in Accra. Currently 39 suspects have been nabbed by Security Personnel of Ghana Telecom for their deep involvement in the stealing of 10,000 pieces of 100 units of phone cards and 200,000 pieces of the 50 unit cards. Both theft cases were detected at the Afgo warehouse drawing conclusions of direct involvement of personnel of Afgo in the scandal. The Vanguards investigations at Nima Divisional Police where the 39 suspects were sent for questioning revealed that one-year after their arrest the suspects are still walking the streets as free men chilling with ‘Aposkelekes’ whilst the police looks elsewhere for petty pickpockets. Presently officials of Ghana Telecom, Afgo and the Nima Police are trading accusations and counter accusations about when and how to prosecute these nation wreckers. The Vanguard learnt from a member of the syndicate that nothing will come out of the case since they have the police in their pockets. Both Ghana Telecom (GT) and AFGO are yet to come to terms as to how 10,000 pieces of the 100 units and 200,000 pieces of the 50 units’ phone cards out of the over two million pieces imported by GT got missing in transit on two separate occasions at the AFGO warehouse. In October last year Ghana Telecom after taking delivery through its two clearing agents detected a shortage of 10,000 pieces of the 100-unit of the phone cards worth about ¢255 million. According to a source close to the security coordinating Office of Ghana Telecom Headquarters in Accra. 14 people including some senior personnel of the company were arrested and handed over to the Nima Police for their involvement in the theft. He explained that most of the suspects genuinely brought some of the missing cards and in the process of using them got arrested when the serial numbers on their card turned out to be the stolen ones. But just as investigations were going on to apprehend those behind the theft, a similar theft has occurred last October, exactly a year since the first one happened.

This time around 200,000 pieces the 50-units cards worth ¢2.8 million was stolen and though the serial numbers were blocked. 25 people were arrested by the Ghana Telecom security and handed over to the Nima Police. Ghana Telecom is at a loss as to why the police have since October last year not been able to prosecute the first suspects and have allowed them to enjoy unlimited bail terms.

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