The Revenue Protection Unit of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has arrested a power-stealing syndicate at a small-scale mining site in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality.
A patriotic citizen, puzzled by the illegal use of power by the miners, tipped off ECG officials, who effected the arrest of the small-scale miners.
The miners had since been asked to pay GH¢1.5 million, being the cost of power consumed illegally, and after the payment, 6.5 per cent will be given to the informant as his reward.
To rally public support to clamp down on illegal acts by electricity consumers, the ECG instituted a reward package, in which all informants or whistleblowers will be rewarded with a percentage of the amount to be retrieved.
With regard to the Tarkwa case, the operators of the mine did a bypass from a different pole and ran the lines directly into the pit, thereby using power without paying.
Illegal power connection
The ECG team discovered an illegal power connection at the mining site, known as Mohammed Small-scale Mining Company, in Tarkwa in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality of the Western Region.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Western Regional Public Relations Officer of the ECG, Mr Benjamin Quarcoo, said the gang was busted through an informant who was not comfortable with the situation and reported the matter to officials of the ECG's Revenue Protection Unit for action.
The ECG, he said, had, in recent times, declared war on power theft, which remained one of its challenges in its operational areas, saying: "When it was time for our team to act on a tip-off by an informant, who was worried about the unscrupulous activity being carried out by this mining firm, we acted swiftly."
“As a company, we do not take such acts lightly. It is a known fact that people who carry out these criminal acts are in our communities and we need to expose them before they bring the system to a halt,” he added.
The Managing Director of the ECG, Mr Kwame Agyeman Budu, said recently he announced the clampdown on illegal use of power and vowed to reduce the canker to its barest minimum, added: “I must say that the team at the ECG will support the drive to ensure success and make illegal use of power a thing of the past.”
The Western Regional General Manager of the ECG, Mr Abraham Anokye Abebreseh, encouraged well-meaning Ghanaians to take advantage of the ECG's full-proof informant protection and reward scheme to help fight the menace of power theft.
He indicated that the management’s declaration of absolute war on illegal use of power would be sustained until the canker had been reduced to the barest minimum.
"We have instituted a reward scheme for persons who provide vital information to expose companies and persons involved in any form of unauthorised use of power," Mr Abebreseh said.
He revealed that the informant who led the ECG team to discover the illegality was given a handsome amount of money.
"The amount was the six per cent reward we promised to pay to anyone who provides any information leading to a successful bust," he said.
"The informant gets the reward immediately we find out the information given is valid and leads to the discovery of the theft," he added.