The Herald's ongoing investigations, have captured the identity of an individual described as the shipper of 436 pistols and ammunitions illegally imported into the country and impounded by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exactly a week ago.
The weapons, have been traced to one Francis Owusu, alias 'Gabon' who is currently resident in Turkey operating as an importer and shipping agent under the company name "Garbon Cargo".
Additional findings by The Herald is that, the 1X20 footer consignment in which the weapons were concealed, also contained some goods that belong to a certain Deputy Minister in the Akufo-Addo administration from the Bono East Region, but it is not clear, if he is the owner of the illegal weapons.
This paper is informed, some of the people who are deeply connected to the importation, have been on the run since the consignmentwas seized, and are believed to be hiding around Techiman.
It was further established that a certain Charles, believed to be the younger brother of Francis Owusu, the shipper, has been arrested in connection with the case, and is currently assisting the security agencies with investigations.
This paper's information is that, Francis Owusu, is the one sending monies to some lawyers in Accra, in order to get his brother, Charles released.
Since the arrest of his brother, Mr Owusu, has reportedly wired about $2,500 dollars as legal fee to get his brother released.
The Herald, in its Monday edition reported that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Friday, October 9 impounded a consignment said to contain some 436 pistols illegally imported from Turkey.
The pistols and its accompanying ammunitions, were concealed in a consignment described as personal effects. One
Felix Wallace, said to be the owner, has been arrested by the Marine Police at Tema.
He had come to clear his 1X20 footer container of household goods and personal effects, but upon a physical examination of the consignment, a pistol was found hidden in a box.
The matter attracted personnel from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and National Security, who took up the matter up for further investigation.
Extracts of a police report on the case, prepared by the Marine Police said "on 09/10/20, Marine Police command at about 9;00PM had intelligence that Customs at meridian Port Services Terminal had arrested a quantity of pistols".
Case referred to D/Inspr Patience Wiredu for investigations.
D/C/Inspr, Daniel Donkor in charge D/Inspr Patience Wiredu, G/sgt Fred GokAfeke with rifle number 405107, G/Sgt Bright Ahiabu with rifle number 389498 plus 10 rounds of ammunition, each onboard service vehicle with registration number GV622-14 driven by G/sgt Daniel Ametor returned from Meridian Port Services terminal duty arrested and brought to the station suspect Felix Wallace with a report that Police met Chief Revenue Officer Duncan Ayamga and other Custom officers together with personnel from BNI and National Security at the Preventive Office counting a number of Pistols.
"Spot investigation revealed that today 09/10/20 at about 11:00am an agent by name Felix Wallace from Crystal Shipping came to the said terminal to clear 20 footer container number, ISLL 2826900 with declaration no-40920230853 said to contain household goods and personal effects from Turkey that during physical confirmation they spotted one pistol concealed in a box that made them impound it".
Interestingly, the Police investigators, have been accused of leaking details on the illegal weapons, they have been arrested and detained.
Their names were given as, Chief Inspector Daniel Donkor, Chief Inspector Patience Wiredu, Sergeant Fredrick Afeke and Daniel Ametor.
They were said to be the police investigators handling the probe into the weapons.
The police administration is accusing them of leaking reports on the weapons after the GRA, got them involved in the probe to know those behind the importation and their motives, having concealed them in personal effects.
They are also with the Marine Police at Tema and first to have had contact with the weapons, when they were found by GRA.
The Herald's information is that, they had been detained at the Cantonments Police Station in Accra.
It is not clear, if they will be charge and put on trial. But many feel they are being victimized for being firm.
Reports had it that, the police officers refused to have the weapons released to their owners, despite incessant calls from "big men" in the government, senior police officials, as well as the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Herald is withholding the details of the government officials, NPP Stalwarts, as well as the senior police officers for now.
But the calls and pressure became unbearable to the Marine Police, including the investigators, thus forcing the station to implore the Customs officials to relocate the weapons to their armory.
Their stance is said to have infuriated the establishment.
Excerpts of the police diary on the weapons and ammunitions in the public domain, thus provided a perfect ruse to victimize the police investigators for defying the unlawful orders to release the deadly objects heading to private hands, including armed bandits, especially armed robbers.
Meanwhile, the GRA, has been accused of hiding the names and other details of some persons picked up by the state security apparatus for smuggling 436 pieces of pistols and ammunitions through the Tema Port.
This has left Ghanaians confused over the matter of the impounded guns at a time gun related crimes are on the rise.
The revenue collector, was rather worried at what it called mischievous and premature information that sought to imply that the 436 pieces of pistols and ammunitions seized were being kept to be released to some 'big men'.
Ghana is less than two months to the 2020 generation election and many have predicted a fierce and violent polls, because the stakes are high.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) wouldn't want to lose the contest just four years in office, while the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) feels its record while in office surpass the NPP's.