Fourth suspect arrested over theft and sale of COVID-19 vaccines


A Disease Control Officer of La Bawaleshie Polyclinic, Lord Pabitey, who absconded after allegedly stealing and selling 26 Vials of COVIDSHIELD has been arrested.

Pabitey who appeared before an Accra Circuit Court on Friday, March 26, has been remanded into lawful custody to reappear on April 1.

Last week, the National Security arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the stealing and sale of COVISHIELD vaccines belonging to the Government of Ghana.

A 37-year-old Disease Control Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Stephen Dzisenu, is said to have stolen 36 vials of COVIDSHIELD and Lord Pabitey, a Disease Control Officer of the La Bawalashie Polyclinic, also allegedly stole 26 vials of COVIDSHIELD.

Cosmos Allotey a 42-year-old Occupational Health and Safety Officer, is said to have received the stolen COVIDSHIELD from Pabitey and Dzisenu. Allotey allegedly administered the vaccines at a cost of GH¢200.00 per jab.

A Project Assistant and a former Laboratory Technician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Joseph Knight Gaisie, is also being held for abetment of crime.

Dzisenu, Gaisie and Allotey – were on March 19, remanded into lawful custody by the same court to reappear on April 1.

Police Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu said they were in court for Pabitey to be remanded pending further investigations.

On March 19, this year, Police Detective Sergeant Frederick Sarpong, the prosecutor, prayed to the Court presided over by Mrs Afua Owusuaa Appiah, not to take the pleas of the accused persons as investigations were ongoing and efforts were underway to arrest other suspects.

The accused charges were not read out to them. However, the facts of the case were read out in open court.

Police Detective Sergeant Sarpong said accused persons, when granted bail, may not only interfere with investigations but other witnesses.

He said from the facts, other persons involved were yet to be arrested and prayed the Court to remand them.

Lawyers of the accused persons prayed for bail, saying their clients were servants of the Republic and they would not interfere with investigations.

The facts as presented by the prosecution were that the complainants were National Security Operatives.

The prosecution said during the first week of March this year, the operatives received intelligence that some health officials had been stealing and selling the Covid-19 vaccines brought in by the Government of Ghana.

Detective Sergeant Sarpong said through intelligence, Allotey’s name was mentioned and his phone number obtained as the one who injects the Covid-19 vaccines for a fee.

He said the complainant contacted Allotey and feigned interest in buying some of the Covid-19 vaccines, so he charged the complainant GH¢ 200.00 per vaccination.

The prosecution said on March 16, 2021, Allotey was arrested when he was invited to Labone in Accra to inject the complainant at a fee of GH¢ 200.00.

He said when Allotey was searched, eight COVIDSHIELD vials, eight used COVIDSHIELD, 173 pieces of 0.5 ml unused injection syringes and cotton were found on him.

The prosecution said during interrogation, Allotey mentioned Dzisenu and Pabitey as his source.

He said Allotey led the National Security operatives to arrest Dzisenu and Gaisie.

The prosecution said Allotey, in his investigative cautioned statement, admitted buying 36 of the vials of government procured COVIDSHIELD vaccine at the cost of GH¢ 18,000.00.

According to him, Allotey further said that, he sold 20 of the vials of COVIDSHIELD at a cost of GH¢ 16,000.00 and later returned 15 vials to Dzisenu.

The prosecution said Allotey said he also bought 26 vials of the COVIDSHIELD from Pabitey at the cost GH¢ 4,800.00.

Mr Sarpong said Dzisenu in his cautioned statement, mentioned Gaisie as the one who aided and facilitated the sale of the stolen CONVIDSHIELD vaccines to Allotey.

Source: GNA

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