The Tema Port Security Manager, Colonel William Kwabiah, has called for harsher punishments for persons who engage in stowaways to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Once you do not get punishment that is punitive enough that would serve as deterrent, we would continue to have young men who are daring to try and go on this adventure,” he warned.
Briefing Eye on Port on a recent stowaway incident that occurred on December 8, 2020, the Tema Port Security Manager said the two suspects are Aaron Abeiku Taylor, 28 years and Emmanuel Bodor, 19 years.
Col. Kwabiah revealed that the law requires individuals nabbed in the act of stowaways to be handed over to the Immigration Service who then hand them over to the Ghana Police, for prosecution.
He complained that stowaway offences are usually met with meagre fines and insignificant jail term which is not deterrent enough for offenders to not try again.
“Currently, they may be asked to pay probably 500 Ghana cedis or be sent to jail for a month or two. Normally they would get people to pay this amount, and this amount is not deterrent enough,” he asserted.
The Port Security Manager also revealed that there is a need to intensify sensitization at the community level on the negative consequences of stowaway, which his outfit has already began.
“The solution is to first educate our youth through formal and informal means. We need to engage the chiefs. We have been speaking to some of the chief fishermen, to get through to the young men to stop this practice.”
Col. Kwabiah encouraged the youth to refrain from the act, which is not as attractive as some youths perceive it to be and warned that in some occasions stowaways lose their lives in the process of their adventure.
“Stowaway is not an adventure that people should attempt. Once you do, you do not end well. Most people do not live to tell their stories,” he advised.