- Super User
- Category: Politics
- Friday, 06 March 2015 23:11
Police Commissioner Patrick Timbillah arrested over recruitment scam...
A Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr Patrick Timbillah has been placed under house arrest by the Police administration over his alleged involvement in the recent police recruitment scam.
He has subsequently been interdicted.
COP Timbillah is the Director General in charge of Police Human Resource Development.
Confirming the latest development on Joy FM Friday afternoon, Director General in Charge of Press and Public Affairs, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Reverend David Nenyi Ampah-Benin said some of the people arrested over the scam have implicated Mr Timbillah.
On Saturday February 28, hundreds of young men and women turned up at five police training depots across the country for enlistment in the Ghana Police Service.
They later found that their recruitment letters were fake and that the purported enlistment was a scam.
It took the police a hectic time to send the disappointed victims away. Most of them were university graduates, who had gone to the Kumasi, Koforidua, Pwalugu, Accra and Ho police depots with their luggage to begin training .
The police administration launched an investigation into the matter and commenced a search for the arrest of the persons who were behind the scam, which was so well organised such that, all victims were given appointment letters purported to have been written by the police.
DCOP Ampah-Benin in the interview with Joy FM said a special task force set up to investigate the recruitment scam recommended that Mr Timbillah should be interdicted so that he does not interfere with investigations.
This means that the senior police officer cannot appear in public until investigations are over and the police administration direct otherwise.
Police personnel are to be stationed in his house to ensure that he does not step out.
DCOP Ampah-Benin said even though Mr Timbillah has denied the accusations; the Task force has evidence of some text messages exchanged between him and some of the arrested persons.
"He is not supposed to be appear in public, he must stay in his house, he is not to be seen outside because he is a very senior officer and we are conducting this investigation painstaking."
He said Mr Timbillah's name was under the recruitment letter that was issued to the victims and it had a signature on it and that the task force was investigating to establish if it was a genuine signature.
Mr Timbillah has denied that was not his signature and the investigation team are to subject it to forensic examination.
DCOP Ampah-Benin said the investigation team recommended that Mr Timbillah's presence would interfere with the process hence the administration decided to interdict him so that he may not have access to any official document so that proper investigation would be conducted.
Asked how police personnel were taking the latest development, he said, "they are surprised, they are shocked, all of us are very sad that this news has been brokered [sic] and we are hoping the investigators would do a good work for the truth to come out."
On whether there was a sense that people in the administration were demoralized, DCOP Ampah-Benin said; "Certainly, certainly a Commissioner of Police is not a small position or what do we say, somebody of that top rank and he is involved, you don't expect us to be jubilant, we are morose, we are very sad that, we are praying very hard that it may not be true."
On how long investigations would take, DCOP Ampah-Benin said the special task force was focusing only on that case so as to deal with it expeditiously.
On Monday March 2, 2015, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) put out the name of Aisha Asumda, alias Aisha Boku Masi, a 36-year-old shea butter seller as a suspect behind the scam. Aisha and three other accomplices had earlier been arrested on December 24, 2014 after committing a similar offence. That matter is still pending in court and Aisha is on bail.
The police also picked up Aisha's suspected accomplice, Alifa Adams, alias Abass, a 27-year-old unemployed at the Tesano Royal Hotel in Accra following a tip off and they put out the names of five other suspects..
On Thursday March 5, 2015, the police put out the names of five more persons, including two police officers who had been arrested as part of investigations to unmask the people behind the scam.
The latest arrests brought to eight the total number of persons so far arrested in connection with the fraud.
The five suspects named on Thursday included Amos Brown, 40, a radio presenter; General Corporal Gideon Sarpong of the Visibility Unit, Takoradi; PW Constable Ruth Agyiri, 27, Central Police Station, Koforidua.
The rest are Pastor Paul Danso from Tarkwa and Richard Harrison, 30. The two who were arrested earlier are Alifa Adams, alias Abass, a 27-year-old unemployed, and Aisha Boku Asumda, 36. (Pictured below)
DCOP Ampah-Benin told press men in Accra on Thursday that the police were determined to get to the bottom of the scam as soon as possible.
He said the six-member task force headed by the commandant of the Police Academy, DCOP Mr Bright Oduro, had been charged to ensure that every single person behind the fraud was brought to book.
He said the intelligence apparatus had been activated and had already started yielding results with the arrest of the five persons at various locations in the country.
DCOP Ampah-Benin said Amos Brown, who was arrested on March 4, 2015 in Takoradi, had allegedly collected various sums of money from about 40 people in Takoradi area under the pretext of helping them to be enlisted in the police service.
He said when Pastor Danso was arrested at Tarkwa Atuabo for collecting various sums of money from people in Atuabo and its environs to get them enlisted, he mentioned the name of General Corporal Sarpong as the one who directed him to collect the money.
According to him, Harrison and PW Constable Agyiri were arrested at Adentan and Koforidua respectively for collecting money from people to get them enlisted.
The Director General emphasised that the general reforms taking place in all facets of the service could be assigned for why all these successes were being chalked up.
He said very stringent measures were put in place in the previous recruitment exercise where even the police hospital was moved to the training schools for the medical examination.
"Additionally vetting was reinforced leading to the elimination of persons with questionable characters entering the service...but for all these measures some of these people could have found themselves into the service through the backdoor," he said.
DCOP Ampah-Benin assured Ghanaians that the recruitment procedure had been fine-tuned and was going to be even more stringent in the coming years.
Victims of Scam
He urged all victims of police recruitment scam to report to the nearest police station or the CID headquarters in Accra to assist in investigations.
He reiterated that the police service was currently not embarking on any recruitment exercise, "so people should be wary of persons who will approach them to make recruitment offers to them".
"Persons found culpable in this shameful act irrespective of their status in society would be duly processed for court to face the full rigours of the law," DCOP Ampah-Benin added.