The Police will work with the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) to strengthen security in cocoa growing regions to protect License Buying Companies, farmers and communities from arbitrary attacks from armed robbers.
The decision followed discussions COCOBOD held with the Ghana Police Service on important issues concerning the Cocoa Industry and development of the sector.
The two institutions discussed the recent robberies and hijacking of trucks transporting the cocoa beans and taking of money meant for the purchase of the beans from farmers.
Mr Fiifi Boafo, the Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, said the meeting to a large extent had identified issues confronting “our security for which advice and interventions have been put in place that they do not occur.”
He expressed the hope that after these instances of robberies of Cocoa beans and money it would end going forward and some steps would be taken going forward.
He said there were also some expectations on the part of COCOBOD and licensed buying companies which “we will ensure they are implemented.”
Mr Boafo said the Inspector-General of Police, together with the Police Management team, indicated their readiness and willingness to ensure that they offer Management of COCOBOD all the necessary support to ensure that these problems did not occur again.
He commended the Police Administration for the initiative.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kwesi Ofori, the Acting Director-General of the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police Service, said the Police had put in place a holistic measure to support COCOBOD in terms of security and that all Regional Commanders in Cocoa growing areas were instructed to do same.
“Putting up security measures, comes up with a comprehensive plan as to how best we can support COCOBOD officials, license agencies, farmers and communities,” he said.
He said by doing so, the Police would be seen conducting special exercises, mounting stop checks, escorting COCOBOD officials, escorting vehicles carrying Cocoa beans, among others.
ACP Ofori said, “We will be doing a lot of work, some of which is confidential in these areas. Our team will face these criminals squarely.”
He said the intervention was going to be a ground security operation, coordinated from the national headquarters supported by the Regional and District Commanders as well as deployment of special teams.
“COCOBOD is one of our biggest organizations in the country and their safety will be safeguarded,” he added.