A report reaching The Chronicle indicates that the serial numbers on the intercepted 436 pistols at the Tema Port have been erased. The report, which emanates from state security sources, however falls short of stating if the tampering had taken place before the interception at the Tema Harbour.
The exhibits are presently in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, which is investigating the case.
In early October this year, personnel of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on duty at the Tema Port intercepted a 20-foot container with declaration number 40920230853 said to contain personal effects. However, in the process of scanning, the container was flagged red, hence the need for a 100% examination.
The officers found 436 pieces of pistols, 26 boxes of 50 ammunitions each, 40 millilitres pepper spray among others which were un-manifested.
The Preventive Wing officers of Customs, Bureau of National Investigation ( BNI) and Police, not forgetting the freight forwarder, were present to append their signatures to the inventory put together and same handed over to the police at the Tema Regional Command for onward investigation.
Later, the CID Headquarters took charge of the case, including the exhibits, to continue with the investigation. Sometime last week, the Police Headquarters announced to the media that the said intercepted weapons were rather gas pistols, and that they were non-lethal.
But a security source who spoke with this reporter wondered whether at the time the representatives of the security agencies were signing the inventory, they had examined what they announced as pistols and their corresponding serial numbers before handing them over to the Tema Regional CID
The source was, again, at loss as to whether at the time the Tema Regional police Command was handing over the exhibits to the National Headquarters, the serial numbers were on the guns or not.
“Is the tampering aimed at concealing the source of the weapons?” the source asked.