The Nkrumah Circle Mafioso, A Phone Snatching Syndicate
Transport is a very essential part of our everyday endeavour. The simple fact that not all Ghanaians can own private vehicles has made public transport a medium that most Ghanaians love to hate considering that they cannot avoid it on a daily basis. The hustle and bustle that accompanies the use of public transport ranges from discomfort on board some vehicles, sycophantic attitude of some driver’s mate etc. but the thought alone of getting home to get rest scares most motorists considering the grim prospect of losing your possession in an effort to get home, this is at the hands of a well orchestrated gang at Kwame Nkrumah Circle. Yes! The crime wave in the capital may have assumed dizzying proportions. The different dimensions of crime ranges from gun point and knife attacks, burglary, cyber crime/419, swindling of people and snatching of valuables amongst several other diabolic acts. More damning is the modus operandi these criminals employ especially under the cover of darkness. All valuables (i.e. phones, jewellery, wallets, handy gadgets etc.) are under threat of being snatched by a well organized crime ring (Mafioso) at the Nkrumah Circle. The area under the purview of this piece is the Circle – Achimota, Dome, Taifa, Bureau, Amasaman, Nsawam, Lapaz station, particularly the area stretching from under the overhead bridge to the front of the Circle clinic. At about 5pm the area is so much packed with passengers in search for cars back home so much so that the hitherto three-lane street is barely reduced to a single lane with passengers sprawling on two lanes and by so doing competing with on-coming vehicles, all this while throwing all caution of being knocked down by vehicles to the wind. The general atmosphere all through the day is usually a cacophony of sounds emanating from deep down the voice boxes of conductors (mates), the scruffy shouts of “uncontracted” car loading contractors, mixed with the squeaks and creaks of rickety vehicles, shrill and serenading voices of female vendors and the tooting of horns as drivers trade invectives among themselves. In the mix of all the voices, screams and shouts of "thief! thief!, catch him he's robbed me" and many such cries are heard from some unfortunate and unaware victims whose NOKIA, MOTOROLA, PHILLIPS, LG, SAGEM,SENDO and other phone brands irrespective of value and network would have been in wrongful custody. One such victim of the Mafia’s criminal escapades is Ana, who laments how she lost her phone; "I locked the side zip of my hand bag after receiving a call, only to realize it had been opened. Again I quickly zipped it as I waited in earnest for the next vehicle heading for my destination. Eventually, one did come and as usual, people crammed at the door to take seats. It was when I took my seat that I realized my zip was for the second time opened. Quickly I checked to be sure of my phone. It was gone. I got off the vehicle, raised an alarm and chased after him as he skipped the concrete balustrade that divided the street. He went through the Orion compound and behind the mosque; he vanished into the jaws of the pitch dark night.” Several other young men all part of the grand mafia plan - surrounded me asking me what had happened, whereas others advised I'd better forget it because it was gone" Ana stood absolutely exasperated and crestfallen by events but that was the reality of things that transpired day in and out at the Nkrumah circle. Amazingly, some lucky victims have retrieved their valuables on the spot. How you may ask? The criminals are an organized ring whose job starts immediately one “strikes” a target with success. The stolen item is quickly passed on from one person to the other, then to another. By the time it reaches the fifth person, the item might be with the nicely dressed gentleman who stands innocently a few steps away. Point an accusing finger at your prime suspect and he would in spectacular fashion remind you of the fact that, the best way to defend oneself is to attack. He would yell out to prove his innocence. Turn to the next gentleman and he might just hand you your snatched item. Indeed they go as far as to dropping these items into heaps of refuse around. If anyone survives the circle mafia, trust that neither the Italian nor Chinese mafia shall outwit him. The basic rules of survival at Nkrumah circle are; 1. Except people you know, TRUST NO ONE. Not the young or old, tall or short, fair or dark, mate or loading contractor who impresses on you to get on board, the executively or casually dressed. Trust not even yourself if need be. 2. However strong you are, do not get deceived. Quietly walk away if you retrieve any item or foil any plot. The mafia is to a large extent armed and can be unforgiving. 3. There is no denying the fact that you have a nice walkie talkie i.e mobile phone. Its protection lies in receiving and making NO CALLS within the parameters of the mafiadom. Remember smelling your phone alone is enough for the mafia to put their satellite on you. 4. Do not be in too much of a haste to get a car. Remain calm, stay alert and avoid the scrambles associated with getting home. As much as you can relax and you definitely would get home, circle is not home to anybody. As for the ladies, have your bags well secured under your armpits better still; hang them around your necks. Remove all jewellery in the evenings and drop them into the main compartments of your bags. Do not expose the zip sides of your bags. For the gentlemen, avoid putting your wallets in your back pockets. Also be careful about keeping essential documents and cards in your back pockets, because although these criminals might not need these cards, they simply would throw them away whereas you might be suffering all that inconvenience. Listening to music either on your phone or other electronic gadgets as i-pods is a sure way that you can be tracked and ripped subsequently of your possession. When an unsuccessful thief is nabbed, much as he might be seen to be pounced upon and beaten, the very people to send him to the station might be allies who would leave him eventually to go free. Come the next morning, you just might see your phone on display at the exact spot it was burgled. These guys sell these phones for a pittance yet they leave you with misery, potentially huge loss of call credits contacts and personal information. Always remember however how well your day has gone, a brief moment at Nkrumah circle can throw all of that good feeling into total disarray. The mafia is ever ready to strike. Be careful; stay alert, focused and very watchful. For all you know, the mafia is right next to you. My prayer and hope is that you never fall prey to these charlatans, sons of crime and evil. Always see yourself as a potential victim because these dons in the Nkrumah circle mafia Dom do not discriminate as to who to prey on. All you have to do is to ……..WATCH OUT!!!
Source: Shaban Barani Alpha
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