The Suame Division of the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi has arrested a 60 year-old electrician for damaging a transformer at Adankwame in the Atwima Nwabiagya North District leading to a cut in power supply to a section of the community.
The suspect, Baba Smaila, has since been granted bail as the police continue with investigations into the case to arrest his accomplices.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Manager, Power Distribution Service (PDS), Mr Erasmus Kyere-Baidoo, said tampering of transformers and other electrical equipment belonging to the PDS was becoming a challenge in the region.
This, according to him, was affecting the smooth supply of power to their clients across the region and beyond and called on the general public to volunteer information so that the culprits could be arrested.
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Narrating the events leading to the arrest, he said about two weeks ago, a 200 kVA transformer serving a section of the Adankwame area got spoilt due to overloading.
After reports got to the regional management team, it wrote to Accra for a new one to be installed to continue serving the people.
While waiting for another transformer to be fixed, one of the five remaining transformers also got blown-up, plunging about 200 houses into darkness.
Mr Kyere-Baidoo said when technical personnel of PDS visited the area to check the cause of the accident, some residents informed them that they suspected that Smaila had tampered with the transformer leading to the damage.
According to them, the suspect charged Gh¢100 from residents of some houses which had power outages and then changed their electricity lines.
They stated that this caused an overload on the transformer the lines were connected to, leading to the explosion of the second transformer.
The PDS, Mr Kyere-Baidoo said, informed the Adankwame police who, with the help of some local residents, managed to arrest Smaila.
After interrogation, Smaila admitted that he undertook the act with other people.
Mr Kyere-Baidoo expressed concern about the high incidence of tampering of electrical equipment in the region and said if it did not stop, the country would continue to spend huge sums of money replacing and repairing the damaged equipment.
He appealed to the chiefs, assembly members and the general public to collaborate with the PDS to protect the transformers which were installed with huge sums of state resources.