Ghanaian locals save Vodafone millions worth of losses

To check cable theft in Ghana, reportedly affecting to the quality of telecommunications services, locals have initiated actions against vandalism of copper and fiber-optic cables. One of such is the recent tip off of the police by three residents of the Greater Accra Region, who on different occasions noted suspicious activities in the middle of the night.

This led to arrests and aversion of loss valued at several thousands of Ghanaian Cedes. Investigations revealed that the cables that could have been destroyed, stolen or vandalized belonged to Vodafone.

At Mile 7, a lady reported suspicious movements to the police who responded and confronted the suspects, two of whom were apprehended. Vodafone was able to avert damages valued in excess of GHC60,000, in addition to the averted voice and Internet network outage that would have affected residents of the area including the lady.

In the Middle East area of Ashaiman, two men were also arrested by a group of residents who had volunteered to patrol their area, following incessant reported cases of cable thefts that had resulted in lack of access to Vodafone services.

The youths were caught around 1a.m. as they were about to drive away with several meters of copper cables. The value of the damage at the site was GHC 25,000 and is estimated that it could have affected about 1,000 customers.

An official of Vodafone also sighted six young men who were pulling underground cables into a truck around 4a.m.. He accosted them and with the assistance of some passersby, two of the perpetrators were apprehended. A team member from Vodafone’s corporate security unit was called and together, the suspects were taken to a local police station.

While commending the efforts of the public in securing the company’s infrastructures, cables and other installations, the company’s head of security, Michael Mbroh, said Vodafone Ghana is grateful to the diligent and brave members of the public.

“Cable thefts cause 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 shortcode 155 – it is manned twenty four hours 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,’ he said.

Mbroh further urged the company’s subscribers to view the company as their own.

“We’re appealing for our customers to ‘own the Network’ in their areas, and stay vigilant,” he said.

Posted in: Telecoms

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