Ghana Marine Police fails to unravel mystery of missing fishing observer

The Marine Police Division of the Ghana Police Service is unable to ascertain the where about of Mr Emmanuel Essien, a fishing observer deployed by the Fisheries Commission onto a Chinese fishing vessel, Meng Xi 15 in 2019.

The captain and crew in charge of the Chinese fishing vessel were granted bail after their initial arrest and statements were taken.

Mr Essien got missing on July 5, 2019 and family members of Essien have been calling for justice, but police investigations remained inconclusive on the matter after two years.

Responding to a question on the matter at a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Nana Kwabena Boakye-Boampong, Acting Director in charge of Maritime Services at the Ghana Maritime Authority, said the Authority did not have full report on the investigation conducted by the Marine Police into the matter.

He said even though Mr Essien’s missing had been validated by the Authority, his whereabout could not be ascertained as Police investigation was inconclusive.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, expressed the need for the Marine Police Division to provide status report on the case since the issue was of public interest.

He said it was imperative for the Chinese officials in charge of the fishing vessel be held accountable and urged the media to follow up on the matter with the Marine Police for explanations.

Meanwhile, Captain Emmanuel Kofi Ankoma (Retired) answering a question about a staff of a fishing vessel who died last year after inhaling ammonia gas, said investigation revealed that it was an accident and no foul play was suspected.

However, the Authority had taken measures to ensure all fishing vessels that used ammonia gas for storage of fishes onboard put in place acceptable safety standards to forestall any future occurrence.

He said avenue still existed for possible civil prosecution of the officials in charge of the fishing vessel for negligence since it was observed that the tubes connecting the gas to the storage compartment was loose and leaking.

Source: GNA

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