A law that offers a stiffer punishment for stowaways to serve as a deterrent to others is needed.
The Tema Port Security Manager, Colonel William Kwabiah, who made the call, said the current laws on the act were not deterrent enough leading to a number of people trying their luck to embark on such journeys.
Col. Kwabiah added that offenders were often given meagre fines and insignificant jail terms saying “once you do not get a punishment that is punitive enough that would serve as a deterrent, we would continue to have young men who are daring to try and go on this adventure”.
He explained that stowaways were mostly fined about 500 Ghana cedis or jailed for a month or two, adding that in most cases such fines were settled for them by family and friends.
Briefing the media on a recent stowaway incident, Col. Kwabiah revealed that his outfit apprehended two suspected stowaways on December 8, 2020.
He said the two, Aaron Abeiku Taylor, 28 years old and Emmanuel Bodor, 19 years, in accordance with the laws, would be handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service who would subsequently hand them over to the Ghana Police Service for prosecution.
He appealed to relevant agencies to join his outfit to intensify sensitization in the communities on the negative consequences of stowaway.
“The solution is to first educate our youth through formal and informal means.
“We need to engage the chiefs. We have been speaking to some of the chief fishermen, to get through to the young men to stop this practice.”
Encouraging the youth to refrain from the act, he noted that it was not as attractive as some youth perceived, stressing that it could even lead to their death.
“Stowaway is not an adventure that people should attempt. Once you do, you do not end well. Most people do not live to tell their stories,” he said.