The Accra Regional Police Command has arrested over 200 land guards over the last two months in special operations conducted with personnel from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and the Counter Terrorism units of the Ghana Police Service.
Chief Superintendent Kwesi Fori made this known to The Mirror on the sidelines of a demolition exercise carried out at the weekend by officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to reclaim lands belonging to the ministry that had been encroached on at Borteyman, a suburb of Accra.
Chief Superintendent Fori, The Operations Commander,Greater Accra said the land guards were arrested between December 2017 and January 2018 at different locations, including Kokrobite, Airport East, Abokobi, Adenta, Weija, Oyibi and some parts of Sakumono, all in the Greater Accra Region.
During the operations, the police retrieved locally manufactured pistols and implements adapted to cause harm and injury. The suspects are currently facing trial.
The suspects, according to Chief Superintendent Fori, often operated as land guards during the day and armed robbers at night, wielding illegal weapons and inflicting harm on rightful landowners and people in the community.
The menace, according to him, was a complex issue; but he gave the assurance that the police was doing everything possible to break into their arena and make sure that the law worked.
Chief Superintendent Fori said the operation would continue as part of the command’s resolve to clamp down on land guard activities in the region. He, therefore, appealed to the public to constantly furnish the police with credible and reliable information that would help smoke out land guards and bring them to book in order to end the menace.
The land guard menace has come about because some chiefs and landowners sometimes sell lands to multiple unsuspecting buyers, leading to fights over who rightfully owns the property.
Sometimes legitimate landowners have to pay off thugs in their neighbourhood to be allowed to build on their property.