The Konongo Divisional Police Command dismantled a railway line theft union operating in Juaso and some communities in the southern Asante-Akim district of the Ashanti region.
The union, on suspicion of successfully stealing large amounts of railroad tracks and steel ties in recent times, has been followed thanks to intelligence reports and public vigilance.
Those arrested are Yussif Hudu, who was sentenced to four years in prison, and Ibrahim Yakubu, also sentenced to three years in prison by the Juaso circuit for theft.
Chief Superintendent Shaibu Osei, commander of the Konongo Divisional Police, said four other union members currently on trial in court included Tweneboah Malik, Kwadwo Gyamfi, Daniel Appiah and Samuel Baffour.
A considerable number of stolen railway lines and steel ties had been recovered from the union following their arrest at separate locations in the southern district of Asante-Akim, police confirmed.
Chief Superintendent Osei, informing Deputy Minister of Railway Development, Mr. Kwaku Asante-Boateng, who was on a working visit to the region, said the culprits were arrested in Duampompo, Breku, Nnadieso and Asante-Praso, all near Juaso.
“Police had information that union members normally operate in the bush, especially in communities crossed by rail lines,” he said.
They reportedly cleared the bush in the afternoon and in the evening cut the tracks into pieces, transporting them to market for sale, the divisional police commander added.
He called on the population, in particular the inhabitants of towns crossed by railways, not to hesitate to inform the police of the activities of these unscrupulous elements.
Mr Asante-Boateng, who is also an MP for Asante-Akim South, expressed concern over how some selfish Ghanaians have made the theft of railway lines and steel ties their business.
“The nation has lost so much to such thefts,” he lamented, saying those involved in such illegal activities would be treated ruthlessly when arrested.
The deputy minister, as part of his tour of the region, visited police stations in Ejisu, Konongo and Juaso, where he inspected stolen railway lines and salvaged steel ties.
He also visited the Adum locomotive workshop in Kumasi, which had preserved large pieces of railway tracks recovered after their interception in Obuasi, Akrokerri and parts of the region.
It costs the government about five million dollars to build a kilometer of railway line, according to the Ministry of Railway Development.