Marine Police fail to determine the whereabouts of the missing fishing observer
General information for Thursday, August 12, 2021
The Marine Police Division of the Ghana Police Service is unable to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Emmanuel Essien, a fisheries observer deployed by the Fisheries Commission on a Chinese fishing vessel, Meng Xi 15 in 2019.
The captain and crew in charge of the Chinese fishing vessel were released on bail after their initial arrest and statements were taken.
Mr Essien went missing on July 5, 2019 and members of Essien’s family have sought justice, but police investigations have remained inconclusive on the matter after two years.
Responding to a question on the matter at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr. Nana Kwabena Boakye-Boampong, Acting Director of Maritime Services at the Ghana Maritime Authority, said the Authority had failed no full report on the investigation by the maritime police into the case.
He said that although Mr. Essien’s disappearance had been validated by the Authority, it was not possible to determine his whereabouts because the police investigation was inconclusive.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah expressed the need for the Marine Police Division to provide a progress report on the case as the matter was of public interest.
He said it was imperative that Chinese officials in charge of the fishing vessel be held accountable and urged the media to follow up the case with the maritime police for an explanation.
Meanwhile, Captain Emmanuel Kofi Ankoma (retired) responding to a question about a staff member of a fishing vessel who died last year after inhaling ammonia gas, said the investigation found he It was an accident and no foul play was suspected.
However; the Authority had taken steps to ensure that all fishing vessels that used ammonia gas for the storage of fish on board put in place acceptable safety standards to prevent any future occurrences.
He said there was still a path for possible civil lawsuits against those responsible for the fishing vessel for negligence as the tubes connecting the gas to the storage compartment were found to be loose and leaking.