Telcos fall on whistle blowers, security agencies to check cell site theft

Dr. Ken Ashigbey is CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications

Ghana’s major mobile network providers have noticed a surge in theft cases at cell sites.

The service providers say the situation, if not checked, would not only affect quality of service but also has serious implications on national security, businesses and revenue generation by the government.

Worrying trend

According to data from the three major telecom operators, some 115 theft cases of active equipment had been recorded since August 2020.

Dr. Ken Ashigbey, CEO of the Chamber of Telecommunications at a news conference said such incidents are prevalent in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.

“It is something that is really worrying. In the past it has been fuel, they will steal fuel, they will steal batteries, copper cables, then they might steal air-conditioners, even the electronic padlocks, some of them were being stolen. So this one we call them passive equipment. But now, we are beginning to experience active equipment. For just the active equipment, since August 2020, data from the three networks, we have had 115,” he noted.

“The center of activity so far is Kumasi, and a lot of this is concentrated around the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology”, Ashigbey added.

Handsome reward

The chamber also announced a raft of measures to deal with the situation, including a handsome reward for persons who volunteer credible information leading to the arrest of such criminals.

“With all of these things and with all the challenges that we are facing us, what we are saying to all of you Ghanaians is that enough is enough. We cannot continue to allow these nation wreckers to continue doing what they are doing. The impact on us is very severe. We are collaborating with all these security agencies, with the intelligence agencies and what we are saying is that now for anybody, any anybody whistle-blower, who would bring out information and intelligence that will lead to the arrest of any of these national wreckers, we are promising you a very handsome reward. We will go a step further, if based on the whistle you blow, we are able to successfully, prosecute and get jail sentences, we will add up to that. So that is a commitment that we are making to all Ghanaians,” he pleaded.

Latest incident

At the time of filing this report, the police at Feyiase in the Bosomtwe District recorded a case at a Vodafone cell site.

Officers who conducted an inspection at the scene revealed a “foul play.”

“That the thief or thieves gained access to the metal cage housing the batteries after opening the padlock with the original key which was kept at a place known only by workers”, a police incident report read in part.

It was not clear whether an arrest had been made.


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