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December in GH: Airport Company begins crackdown on extortion

Asaase News has sighted two letters in which two airport workers have been investigated and removed from their duty post for extortion

The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) has begun a crackdown on acts of extortion of airline passengers by workers at the Kotoka International Airport ahead of the arrival of visitors who will be coming into the country for “December in GH” activities and for the Christmas festivities.

Since President Akufo-Addo, announced the year of return in 2019, and beyond the return in 2020, the country has seen a significant increase in the number of persons visiting the country every December for the festive season and for “December in GH” activities.

This increase in the number of visitors has, however, been characterised by an alleged commensurate increase in extortion complaints by visitors who use Ghana’s airports. Players in the tourism sector have explained severally that these acts of extortion are a dint on Ghana’s efforts at becoming a world-class tourist destination.

Asaase News has sighted two letters authored by Colonel E. Akohene Mensah (RTD), the Director of Aviation Security at the Ghana Airport Company Limited in which two airport workers (names withheld) have been investigated for engaging in alleged acts of extortion and subsequently, removed from their duty post after their acts of extortion were established.

The two officers, one a contract staff of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the other, an Immigration officer, were captured on CCTV footage extorting varied sums, both local and foreign currencies from passengers.

Investigations conducted by security officials at the GACL based on complaints of two passengers, according to the letters sighted by Asaase News, confirmed the guilt of the two airport workers and led to their permanent removal from post.

“Extortion is unacceptable by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) standards and tarnishes the image of the airport. AVSEC has retrieved the airport ID cards of the officers and they will not be permitted to work at any of the airports manned by GACL in Ghana,” the two GACL letters sighted by Asaase News read.


Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra


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