Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, has revealed that a crack team of security personnel have been tasked to retrieve illegal weapons possessed by unauthorized persons in the country.
According to him, this forms part of series of measures by government to deal with the proliferation of illegal arms and ammunitions.
Ambrose Dery, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Nandom Constituency, made this known on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday.
The Minister also indicated that, some persons involved in the manufacturing of local weapons have been arrested in parts of the country.
“Mr. Speaker to address the situation, the police administration in collaboration with the security agencies and stakeholders such as the National Commission on Small Arms and Large Weapons have developed a strategy to monitor, control, arrest and prosecute persons involved in illicit arms transactions in the country.
The following measures have been put in place: the employment of the intelligence-led police operation to search for and recover illegal weapons. Strict measures have been out in place at the various entry points to check illegal arms and detect concealed firearms in shipments containers.
There are efforts in place to mark all categorial weapons at the magazines of security agencies in the country using the ECOWAS unique marking code. This will make it easier for weapons to be identified and traced to a particular security agencies in the event that such a weapon is found at any crime scene,” he stated.
According to him, the measures are “aimed at improving the physical security and also prevent the temptation by elements within the security agencies to sell arms belonging to the State.
Ambrose Dery also added that laws which frown on manufacturing of arms are constantly being enforced and any blacksmith found to be manufacturing guns will not be spared.
In his delivery, he further disclosed that, the monitoring exercise has led to the arrest of some blacksmiths in the Eastern Region who were reported to be providing locally manufactured guns to armed robbers.
“Hon. Speaker, I must also indicate that the National Commission of Small Arms and Large Weapons has been embarking on public education and sensitisation programs to educate the citizenry on the dangers associated with the selling of weapons. I take this opportunity to urge the public to provide information to the security agencies for swift interventions to arrest smugglers of small arms and large weapons and criminals in general. This will help in reducing the arms-related crimes in the country”, the MP stressed.
The comments by the Interior Minister was in response to a question on the floor of Parliament from the South Tongu MP, Kobena Mensah Woyome on steps taken by government to address the menace of illegal arms in the country.
In his response, Ambrose Dery expressed optimism that the new strategy adopted by government will rid the country of all illegal arms.
The use and possession of illegal firearms and weapons often result in crimes such as robberies, murders, rape, violence, and land conflicts. Government has therefore expressed its commitment to dealing decisively with the issue in collaboration with the security agencies and all other relevant stakeholders.
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