As part of efforts to fight against crime, the Northern Regional police command has arrested over 50 suspected criminals at the Tamale Aboabo forest reserve.
The suspects were arrested at different places within the forest close to the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.
The police retrieved substances suspected to be weed, cutlass, knives, motorbikes, plastic chairs among others in the swoop on Saturday morning.
This is not the first time such an operation has happened in the Aboabo forest, but this latest operation occurred after the police gathered intelligence.
The Regional Crime Officer, Superintendent Bernard Baba Ananga, speaking to the media, said criminals had taken over the forest thinking the forest had become their home.
According to him, the criminals planned their criminal operations in the forest and other criminals from other regions used the Tamale Aboabo forest as their hidden place whenever they committed crimes.
He said, the police in Tamale not long ago, arrested a wanted criminal in the forest and handed him over to Bolgatanga police, hence they decided to swoop in the forest to clamp down criminal activities in the region.
He explained a lot of criminal activities were happening in the forest including prostitution.
“Criminals took up this area within the forest, patched up camps to do their operations from the forest, those criminals thought that the forest was a no go area and for that matter, they could do whatever they wanted and move in to do all the kinds of narcotics trade, prostitution turning the whole area into a market, they felt the authorities could not come in,” he said.
He noted: “About two weeks past, we arrested one notorious criminal, Asampana Ayini which we handed over to Bolgatanga who was declared wanted, and then he committed a lot of robberies at Bolga, ran into this forest. After the arrest, we gathered that most of the criminals were here and doing all kinds of businesses and any activities.”
He added that the Regional Commander, COP Timothy Yoosa Bonga, insisted that this operation should be sustained and maintained to help kick criminals from the system.