The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh, has commenced investigations into allegations of assault and thievery by National Security operatives during a raid on two Chinese-owned Casinos in Asankragua in the Amenfi West constituency.
As contained in a news report by The Fourth Estate, the Member of Parliament for Amenfi West, Eric Afful had petitioned the IGP to investigate the issue “detailing the rampage within his constituency, the brazen lawlessness, and the sense of insecurity and fear in the wake of the National Security raid.”
The raid on the Chinese-owned casinos occurred on May 7, 2021.
Cited by The Fourth Estate, eyewitnesses say the team from National Security arrived in a Toyota V8 Land Cruiser, wielding AK 47s and dressed in mufti with their faces masked. They were led by DSP Azugu who was in Police uniform.
The Fourth Estate reports that the raid was meant to clamp down on illegal activities such as illegal gold refinery, gold trading and other illicit activities undertaken by the Chinese, with the tacit endorsement of compromised Ghanaian officials, including some in the security services.
According to eyewitnesses, as was notorious of the National Security operatives, they assaulted staff of the Casinos and seized their phones, refusing to return the item even after the raid.
Recounting the sequence of events to The Fourth Estate, staff of the Casino said, the Security operatives, aside from destroying all CCTV cameras on site and the video recordings from the CCTV in the control room, also pocketed dollar bills they found on site without accounting for them.
“When they came in, some of the Chinese guys were playing table tennis. So those of us who were there, they took our phones and they searched their [the Chinese] pockets and took the money they saw there. For these monies, they didn’t account for it. I was here personally so I saw it,” Maxwell Yeboah, a staff of the Casino told The Fourth Estate.
Another staff, Charles Mensah said, “The office had some few dollars 100-dollar bills. Some 15 of them and that’s $1,500. I was about to record it and one policeman took the money and put it inside his pocket so he didn’t make us record that one.”
The rogue officers later drove away with a Toyota V8 owned by the Casino.
The Fourth Estate reports that the security operatives later assaulted two journalists who they had caught taking videos of the incident with their mobile phones.
The first journalist, Peter Tabiri, a Western Regional Correspondent for Pent TV was slapped and kicked several times when he was discovered filming the incident. His phone was seized and smashed.
“Not satisfied, they pressed me to the ground and poured water on me, amidst curses and insults on journalists,” he told the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).
A medical report from Father Thomas Allan Rooney Memorial Hospital in Asankragua after the assault says Peter Tabiri has a “perforated eardrum.” Peter says he now has trouble with his right ear after the assault, The Fourth Estate reports.
The other journalist, Ebenezer Blay of Ahobrase FM in Asankragua said he was kicked in the back several times and his phone was seized.
Two other Immigration Officers were also assaulted when they tried to intervene.
As stated by The Fourth Estate, the IGP has started an investigation into the petition and has written to DSP Azugu to respond to the MP’s allegation.
Eric Afful also wants the Interior Ministry to conduct a thorough investigation into the activities of DSP Azugu and his team.
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