Accra, Oct 31, GNA – Vodafone Ghana has lauded recent efforts by certain community members toward the fight against cable thieves which has plagued the telecommunications industry.
The theft and destruction of copper and fibre cables have affected quality of telecommunication service to consumers. The National Communication Authority report says that the first three quarters of this year alone saw in excess of 700 cable cuts.
Vodafone Ghana said in statement to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday that three individuals on three different occasions spotted suspicious activity in the middle of the night and called the local Police to make a report.
“These actions have led to the arrest of youths in three areas in the Greater Accra region and have averted thousands of Ghana cedis of revenue loss to Vodafone Ghana, the operator affected by these thefts,” it said.
The statement said in Mile ‘7’ in Accra, a young lady spotted six youths with an unbranded truck attempting to pull cables out of a manhole in front of a kiosk at 0200 hours in the morning. Thinking this suspicious, she reported it to the Police who confronted the group and apprehended two of the offenders.
“The damage averted by this quick action by the young lady was in excess of GH¢60,000, not to mention the voice and internet network outage that would have been experienced by the local community,” it noted.
“The next morning there were reports of another act of bravery by a group of people who had volunteered to patrol the Middle East area of Ashaiman after numerous cable thefts had left them without a Vodafone service on several occasions.
“They apprehended two youths who were known to collect scrap in the area at 0100 hours in the morning after they were trying to drive away with metres of copper cables. The damage caused at the site was in excess of GH¢25,000 and will affect 1,000 customers.
Another act of bravery, the statement noted was by a staff member of Vodafone Ghana, who spotted six youths pulling underground cables into a truck at 0400 hours.
He approached the group and with the help of passersby apprehended two of the offenders. He later called a team member from the Corporate Security unit at Vodafone and together they escorted the suspects to a Police Station.
The damage caused in that incident was in excess of GH¢50,000 and affected 1,200 Vodafone customers.
Michael Mbroh, Head of Corporate Security commenting on the actions of individuals said: “We are very grateful for the diligence and bravery of these community members.
Cable thefts causes Vodafone Ghana huge financial losses but I think customers are now beginning to feel the impact of the actions of these thieves on their ability to communicate.
“We don’t ask customers to approach the suspects but we do urge them to report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or call our short code 155 – it is manned 24-hour a day by a member of staff from our security department.
We can only stamp out the menace of cable theft if we work together with the Police and members of the community as we are all affected by these illegal acts.
We’re appealing to our customers to ‘own the Network’ in their areas and stay vigilant.”
The statement said network customers were becoming increasingly frustrated by the service interruptions caused by the indiscriminate cutting and theft of copper cables.
But the Corporate Security Department at Vodafone Ghana said it was working very closely with the Police to make sure all suspects were prosecuted to the full extent of the law and Police informers appropriately rewarded.