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Accusations flare over La Beach cell   
 
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17-Sep-2009  
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The management of La Beach Resort has been accused of operating a private cell into which they allegedly hold suspected offenders at the beach before handing them to the Police.

Eric Nii Dade Lutterodt, Akulpleka Kwaku Akossa alias Ras Kwaku , and Mensah Quarshie , all manufacturers and hawkers of artifacts at the beach, narrated how they suffered inhuman and degrading treatment at this 'Kangaroo cell", allegedly operated by Mr. Larry Mensah, a member of the Management of the beach.

Lutterodt 39, Akossa 26 and Quarshie 27 told Public Agenda that on separate occasions each of them had been bundled into the cell by operatives acting on the instructions of Mr. Mensah, for their inability to produce selling permit upon demand.

"Earlier, operatives of Larry came for my wares because I was unable to produce a permit. Later I was arrested and kept for about three hours upon the instructions of Larry where I was put in about 10:34 am and was released at about 1: 00 pm following pleas from my uncle. I've been at this beach over the past 11 years," Lutterodt revealed.
He said following his release he was made to sign an undertaking that he would be of good behavior.

But in a separate interview with Public Agenda, Mr. Mensah refuted the allegations, describing his accusers as "galamsey" people who have become a nuisance to holiday makers at the beach; engaging in all manner of crimes such as pick-pocketing, stealing of mobile phones and monies and illegally ferrying people into the beach using unapproved routes.

According to him, the Police Post was constructed on the advice of the La Police with sponsorship from Coca-cola. "The Police Post is part of an expansion exercise which includes the construction of offices and toll booths. The post is usually manned by police personnel on major festive occasions. We keep the suspects until they are handed over to the La Police. We didn't build it based upon a unilateral decision, it was upon the advice of the Police," he elaborated.

"Hawking is not allowed at the beach because besides disturbing those who are sunbathing, meditating, relaxing and those observing the sea, some of the hawkers used that to steal items belonging to revelers".
He said all those who sell artifacts have been registered and provided with permits and structures for the selling of their wares. According to Mr. Mensah, the levies collected are used for the payment of administrative staff, cleaners, life savers and security personnel.

"But nobody is allowed to hawk at the beach and we seize wares of offenders. We usually do not return the wares after seizure in order to deter the hawkers. However, some times after cautioning them the wares were returned." He disclosed that when completed the Police Post will be a storey building with offices at the top.
 
 
Source: P. Agenda
 
 

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