Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7:35 am
A large illegal weapons cache including assault rifles and anti-aircraft ammunition, has been seized in Ghana, but police said it was unlikely they were meant for a specific militant or rebel group.
The police detained a 63-year-old man from Niger in a raid in Ghana’s second city of Kumasi on Saturday and charged him with unauthorized possession of weapons, said police spokesman Yusuf Tanko.
Reports by the local newspaper Daily Guide, said seven suspects were arrested in connection with the weapons seizure. “The suspects were arrested at Akwatialine, Allah Bar and Bosore”, it said.
Tanko described the seizure as the biggest in living memory in Ghana, a stable democracy whose capital, Accra, has sub-Saharan Africa’s lowest crime rate, according to a study published this year.
“Our investigation does not point to any terrorist organisation linked to them. They started selling the arms to petty criminals. If they were meant for something big they would not be selling them to petty criminals in the market,” Tanko said.
It was more likely that the weapons dated from one of the many armed conflicts to have blighted the region in recent decades and their owners were seeking to cash in by selling them in other countries, he said.
It was believed that some weapons were simply being sold locally as they transited through Ghana, Tanko said, and police made other arrests in Kumasi of criminals who purchased both arms and ammunition from the suspect.
The weapons seized in the initial raid included 11 AK-47s, four G3 assault rifles, handguns and a light machine gun as well as large quantities of assorted ammunition