Corruption And Theft At Tema Port And Kotoka International Airport

Fri, 6 Jan 2012 Source: Sarpong, Nana Yaw

Majority of Ghanaians abroad are baffled at the outright theft going on at the Kotoka international Airport and Tema port. On a daily basis , items belonging to pasengers as well as vehicles shipped into the country are being stolen by unscrupulous personnel at the cargo handling receiver points as well as customs personnel and individuals claiming to be security personnel,for whch outfit only God knows. Despite several; complaints to the authorties nothing gets done about it.

Currently there are all kinds of characters parading themselves at our airport as security personnel ,cargo handlers, escorts and whatnots. Recently there have been serious cases of passenger items getting missing from luggages and hand luggages that are put in the cargo hold.

Between August and December last year we have received 25 complaints from Ghanaians living in London as well as Brussels and Dusseldorf of items including money being stolen from passenger luggages at the airport. Where are our police officers and security personnel when you need them. There are major questions to be asked about our security systems at the airport. Is there any close circuit television monitoring system at all blind spots at the airport ,if they are why are they not working?

Last year, Anas Aremeyaw ‘s documentary exposed massive corruption going on at the tema port, which costs our country 200 million dollars a year. President Mills went in charging like Don Quixote on his horse, and some individuals were transferred. Yet the same hierarchy is still in place and the blatant theft of the possessions belonging to hardworking Ghanaians abroad ,continues top be stolen. How can someone ship a vehicle costing 5,000 dollars from the USA then is asked to pay 8,000 dollars in duty alone to clear it thus spending 13,000 dollars? How can someone by a car in the UK for 1,500 pounds then is asked to pay 3,000 pounds duty plus 1500 for clearance and administrative fees? If this is not daylight robbery then what is it?

So many Ghanaians frustrated by these activities are disillusioned by the lack of action from the current government to deal with these problems. Recently President Mills said he went to the USA to meet so called investors. The real investors to build Ghana are the thousands of Ghanaians living in the UK ,USA, France, Germany, Holland,Japan ,Nigeria, South Africa,Brazil,Sweden and other countries as well as Ghanaians at home who work very long hours at their jobs, save money, buy goods ,bring equipment and machinery only to have it stolen and mishandled at our ports.

Nana Yaw Sarpong


Columnist: Sarpong, Nana Yaw