A special police swoop has led to the arrest of 339 suspected criminals including 12 women from various parts of the Accra metropolis.
The exercise, which was conducted in 13 out of the 14 police divisional commands under the Accra Regional Police Command, led to the impounding of 102 unregistered motorbikes. Those arrested were within the age range of 13 and 62 years.
Apart from the motorbikes, items retrieved from them included substances suspected to be Indian hemp in various quantities, packets of tramadol, assorted mobile phones, laptops, machetes and kitchen knives.
Giving a breakdown, the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mrs Effia Tenge, said in the Amasaman Divisional Police Command, five suspects were arrested; 11 at Nima, 22 at Madina and 25 suspected criminals each at Adentan and Baatsona.
In the Cantonments Divisional Police Command, 28 suspected criminals were arrested during the swoop while in Accra Central and Dansoman 21 and 28 suspects were picked up respectively, with Odorkor registering 30.
The Tesano Divisional Police Command arrested 32; while Kpeshi arrested 30 suspects, with the Kaneshie Divisional Police Command arresting 34.
The Weija Divisional Police Command is yet to undertake its swoop.
Mrs Tenge said out of the 30 suspects arrested by the Odorkor Divisional Police Command, there were 29 foreign nationals.
At Pokuase, an area under the Amasaman Divisional Police Command, she said when the police team arrived at the suspected criminal den the place was deserted.
” So the makeshift structures used by the criminals were demolished and burnt,” she said.
Mrs Tenge said the exercise, which was ongoing, was aimed at clamping down on street robberies and the use of unregistered motorbikes for criminal activities.
“Our records show that from the beginning of this year, there have been increasing cases of street robberies and the use of motorbikes for robberies. So we started this special exercise by targeting those who use unregistered motorbikes for suspected criminal activities and we impounded hundreds of motorbikes. We have since put those arrested before the courts,” she said.
She said the modus operandi of the suspected street robbers was to attack their victims during rush hours when the victims were either going home after work or on their way to work.
“They attack innocent citizens and snatch their handbags, mobile phones and other personal items. We want to clamp down on their activities, that is why we have increased police patrols and police visibility teams and we are also using intelligence lead swoops,” she said.
On the 29 foreigners arrested during the swoop, she said, the police were collaborating with Ghana Immigration Service to verify their resident permits and immigration status.