The police have arrested 122 people in separate swoops in parts of Accra and retrieved items including electronic gadgets from the hideouts of some of the suspects.
Those arrested included suspected robbers, mobile phone thieves, ladies’ handbang snatchers, drug peddlers and others believed to be behind a number of criminal activities.
They were arrested within the jurisdiction of the Nima, Kaneshie and Dansoman Divisional Police commands at dawn on Tuesday.
The exercise, which was carried out simultaneously, lasted between five and 12 hours.
Some items retrieved from the criminal dens included 247 assorted mobile phones, 80 motorbikes (both registered and unregistered), ladies’ handbags, some implements believed to be used for breaking into people’s homes and cars and an unspecified quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
At the Nima Divisional Police Command, which arrested 26 mobile phone peddlers who were operating at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, the Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Nuhu Jango, said the 247 mobile phones retrieved were believed to have been stolen from their owners.
He said over the years, the command had been receiving reports of increasing harassment and attacks on people by suspected criminals at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
He added that the police had also picked intelligence that the criminals sold their booty, including mobile phones, iPad, tablets and other electronic gadgets at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
Mr Jango said the operation, which started about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, involved a team of 40 policemen.
Some of the suspects were hawking on the pavements, with the mobile phones in their hands, while others had displayed their goods on tables and in glass showcases when the team apprehended them.
He called on victims of phone snatching and robbery to call at the Nima Police Station to identify their phones and also assist the police with investigations.
At the Kaneshie Divisional Police Command, the exercise focused on motorbikes.
The Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Ernest Owusu, told journalists that 40 people were arrested and their motorbikes impounded.
He explained that the exercise was carried out at places known to be the hideouts of those who used motorbikes to commit criminal activities, such as snatching bags and robberies
They included Bubuashie, Awudome, Darkuman, Kaneshie, Cable and Wireless, the Industrial Area and Abossey Okai.
The six-hour exercise, he said, started at 5 a.m. and ended about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, saying “we intend to sustain this exercise”.
While some of the motorbikes were unregistered, others had fake number plates, with the rest having fake documents or no documents covering them.
Assorted mobile phones and other implements retrieved during the swoop
At the Dansoman Divisional Police Command, 56 suspected criminals were arrested from areas noted to be the hideout of drug peddlers such as Sukura, Zamrama Line, Chorkor, Gbegbeise, Glefe, Banana Inn, Zongo Junction, Korle Gonno, Zabon Zongo, Laterbiokoshie and Mamprobi.
The exercise also led to the impounding of 52 motorbikes which were either unregistered or without proper documentation.
The police found six compressed slabs and a number of wrapped pieces of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, knives and a number of ladies’ handbags believed to have been snatched from their owners, as some had their straps torn.
Briefing journalists, the Dansoman Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Antwi K. Tabi, said the police had been receiving reports of attacks on persons who went to withdraw cash from the over 20 banks in the area, as well as breaks into parked cars.
When the arrested persons were paraded, a number of them protested that they were not criminals.
Some relations of those arrested who had thronged the Dansoman Police Station corroborated their claim.
Mr Tabi later explained that anyone found in the area known for drug peddling was arrested, asking: “What were they doing at those places at that time?”
He said their fingerprints would be taken and compared with those on the police wanted list.