Thieves steal 50km of railway tracks

Some of the suspects
Some of the suspects

Ten suspects have appeared in the courts at Ejisu and Juaso following their arrest by the police for stealing nearly 50 kilometres of railway tracks nationwide.

The suspects were arrested by the police and the metals (track and steel sleepers) were retrieved from them.

Of the 10, four have been jailed four years each. The remaining three suspects have been identified as Kwadwo Gyamfi, Daniel Appiah, Baffour Samuel, who are in the custody of the Juaso Police, pending prosecution.

Chunks of track were stolen over the course of several months from lines from Ejisu, Konongo, Juaso, Obuasi-Dunkwa-Prestea, Akrokeri, Kaasi, Asafo, Asawase.

A kilometre of railway construction is estimated to cost $5million.

The suspected thieves, it was revealed cut the rail, about 40 feet, into pieces with specialised machines and cart them during the night, to sell to scrap dealers.

The Deputy Minister of Railway Development, Kwaku Asante-Boateng suggested that a syndicate was behind the stealing of the metals and asked the media to help in sounding a caution to the general public to put an end to the canker.

“If we are to fix the country, there is the need to fix our attitude first, what is going on is just appalling, there should be an end to this,” he told the Ghanaian Times.

He admitted that for the past 20 years no train had been seen on the railway leading to the industry going down and the government was trying to revive it.

The Deputy Minister said the government had developed a master plan to bring back the railway system and had awarded a contract to David Walter Company to start a new line from Kejetia to Kaasi and another contract to continue to Obuasi.

In the Western Region, he said the government had started a new line from Sekondi-Takoradi and “now almost at Tarkwa, but this is not to say that the old track is not good, because we can still use them”.

“We are borrowing money to finance these projects and now, look at the situation we find ourselves in,” he questioned.