National Security Ministry refutes claims its operatives deliberately killed 2 youths in Akan constituency

The Ministry of National Security has rejected allegations of intentionally targeting and causing the deaths of two individuals in the Akan Constituency within the Oti Region.

This response comes in the wake of the fatalities of two footballers in the Yadzo community of the Oti Region on Monday. The individuals were reportedly pursued by National Security Operatives while allegedly attempting to transport cocoa beans to Togo.

In a statement released on December 27, the National Security Ministry clarified that “the incident leading to the death of the two persons was purely accidental and not borne out of a targeted operation,” contrary to the account provided by the Member of Parliament for the area.

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While offering condolences to the grieving families, the Ministry urged the public to disregard any factual inaccuracies aimed at generating disapproval for the anti-cocoa smuggling operation in the constituency.

However setting the record straight, the Ministry explained that the facts of the matter are as follows:

1. In October 2023, the Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with COCOBOD, launched an intelligence-led operation along the Eastern Corridor which includes the Akan Constituency, to prevent cocoa smuggling to neighbouring countries. The launch of the intelligence-led operation was informed by a surge in cocoa smuggling activities, leading to a significant reduction in the quantum of cocoa beans sold by farmers to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs). This explains the presence of National Security personnel in the Akan Constituency.

2. The anti-cocoa smuggling operations have, so far, been successful with several persons involved in the smuggling activities arrested. A significant amount of cocoa beans seized from the smugglers have been submitted as exhibits for the prosecution of the arrested persons. It is worth noting that as a result of the intelligence-led operations, the LBCs have recorded an uptick in the quantum of cocoa sold to them by farmers.

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3. Regrettably, on December 25, 2023, one of the vehicles of the anti-cocoa smuggling operations team was involved in an accident when it collided head-on with a motorcycle carrying two persons; a development that claimed the lives of the two persons aboard the motorcycle.

4. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, personnel of the Ghana Police Service arrived at the scene to commence full-scale investigations. However, some aggrieved persons in the Akan Constituency, guided by a misconception that the two deceased persons were deliberately targeted, vandalised the vehicle and set it ablaze.

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