Story: News Desk
The Ministry of National Security has strongly refuted accusations by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akan Constituency, Yao Gomado, that two people killed in an accident were deliberately targeted by the ministry’s operatives.
The ministry in a statement explained that an operation, launched in October 2023, aimed to curb cocoa smuggling along the Eastern Corridor, impacting the Akan Constituency directly.
A surge in smuggling activities had reportedly reduced cocoa sales to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), prompting the intervention. The operation, according to the ministry led to some arrests with cocoa beans seized.
However, tragedy struck on December 25th when a team vehicle accidentally collided with a motorcycle, killing both riders.
Below is the full statement
The attention of the Ministry of National Security has been drawn to a press release by the Honourable Yao Gomado, Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency, accusing operatives of the Ministry of deliberately killing two persons in his Constituency.
The Ministry wishes to state that the account by the Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency on the regrettable loss of the lives of the two persons is grossly inaccurate and mischievously fabricated to satisfy a parochial agenda.
The facts of the matter are as follows:
1. In October 2023, the Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with COCOBOD, launched an intelligence-led operation along the Eastern Corridor which includes the Akan Constituency, to prevent cocoa smuggling to neighbouring countries.
The launch of the intelligence-led operation was informed by a surge in cocoa smuggling activities, leading to a significant reduction in the quantum of cocoa beans sold by farmers to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs). This explains the presence of National Security personnel in the Akan Constituency.
2. The anti-cocoa smuggling operations have, so far, been successful with several persons involved in the smuggling activities arrested. A significant amount of cocoa beans seized from the smugglers have been submitted as exhibits for the prosecution of the arrested persons. It is worth noting that as a result of the intelligence-led operations, the LBCs have recorded an uptick in the quantum of cocoa sold to them by farmers.
3. Regrettably, on December 25, 2023, one of the vehicles of the anti-cocoa smuggling operations team was involved in an accident when it collided head-on with a motorcycle carrying two persons; a development that claimed the lives of the two persons aboard the motorcycle.
4. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, personnel of the Ghana Police Service arrived at the scene to commence full-scale investigations. However, some aggrieved persons in the Akan Constituency, guided by a misconception that the two deceased persons were deliberately targeted, vandalised the vehicle and set it ablaze.
5. The Ministry deeply regrets the loss of the two persons and expresses its deepest condolences to their families. The Ministry, however, deems it prudent to put on record that the incident leading to the deaths of the two persons was purely accidental and not borne out of a targeted operation.
6. To this end, the public is urged to disregard the factual inaccuracies contained in the press release issued by the Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency aimed at courting disaffection for the anti-cocoa smuggling operation currently ongoing in the Constituency.