The government of the Republic of Ghana represented by its Minister of the Interior Mr. Ambrose DERY has chaired the opening ceremony of the West African Police Information (WAPIS) briefing event on 22 march 2022 at the Police Headquarters Conference room in Accra.
Government officials, the ECOWAS Resident Representative, the Head of the EU delegation M. Irchad Razaaly as well as the Head of INTERPOL WAPIS Programme Richard GOTWE, also attended this ceremony and various Heads of Law enforcement officials and Representatives of embassies from ECOWAS and EU Member States based in Ghana.
This briefing event organized by the Ghana Police Service with the support of the WAPIS Programme will take place over three days and aims to raise awareness among the law enforcement agencies on the role and use of the WAPIS in the enhancement of the security system in Ghana.
The West African Police Information System (WAPIS) is an initiative of West African countries under ECOWAS, aimed at building an effective national, regional and international response to national, regional and international criminal threats, including transnational organised crime and terrorism. The objective of the WAPIS System is to enhance the capacity of Law enforcement agencies of West African countries to fight these criminal threats effectively, by improving their capacities to collect, process and analyse information, and to share information among national security bodies and with other countries in the region and beyond through INTERPOL.
Reliable information and up-to-date data on the activities and movements of criminals and terrorists is at the heart of the activities of police and law enforcement agencies for the successful detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes.
The WAPIS System is supported by a multiannual Programme (2012-2022) funded by the European Union and implemented by INTERPOL, with the political and strategic support of ECOWAS. The fifteen (15) ECOWAS countries benefiting from INTERPOL’s WAPIS Programme are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Two non-ECOWAS countries, Mauritania and Chad, are also covered by the WAPIS Programme.
Opening the Inauguration ceremony, the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare assured the participants that this briefing event is significant because, it gives the European Union, INTERPOL and ECOWAS an opportunity to see for themselves, what has been achieved with the funding and logistics they have magnanimously provided. The Inspector General of Police also went on to state that the event is aimed at increasing awareness of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) in Ghana and will encourage its use by our numerous stakeholders.
He stressed the fact that the resources invested the WAPIS system would be futile if the system were not used for the purpose for which it has been established that is to gather relevant criminal information and make them available to law enforcement agencies at the national, regional and subsequently global level to fight transnational organized crime.
Recognizing the political and operational involvement of the government of Ghana, the Head of the WAPIS Programme, Mr. Richard GOTWE thanked the participants for honoring the invitation and was delighted that WAPIS has become an essential tool for the law enforcement officers in Ghana in order to deal effectively and sustainably with crimes.
The Head of the European Union Delegation, Mr Irchad Razaaly, said: ‘Ghana can be proud of the good work of its law enforcement agencies in general. However, in order to tackle the challenges of crime and terrorism in the 21st century, police and criminal justice actors must work together more efficiently and effectively. I am pleased that the EU-financed WAPIS Programme is helping Ghana and the other ECOWAS states to take advantage of the possibilities offered by digitalization and internet-based sharing of information’.
Following the Head of the EU Delegation, the ECOWAS Resident Representative, reminded that this Programme is very important to the ECOWAS security strategy and that the organization will always support the countries in the implementation of this System in the region.
Concluding the remarks, the Minister for the Interior noted that, as June 2022 approaches for the Programme, to be handed over to ECOWAS, WAPIS Ghana is waiting patiently for a positive feedback from other partners to kindly extend the Programme. He urged representatives of member countries present to impress upon their governments to put in more effort to ensure all countries meet their deadlines.
Under the WAPIS Programme in Ghana:
Statistically, WAPIS Ghana has 18027 convicts of which 4800 are foreigners and the rest are Ghanaians.
· Success Stories:
o The WAPIS Centre (DACORE) has chalked many successes; Upon request from the Cyber Crime Unit on 27 May 2021, Checks were conducted on a person. After conducting the search on him, the system revealed that since 6 November 2011, he has been convicted to serve his 40 years sentence with hard labor in Nsawam Prison. This and many more are the information the WAPIS unit provides to the Investigating Units of the CID Headquarters, which has enhanced their investigations.
o On 3 March 2022, the WAPIS Centre received a request from INTERPOL for background checks on a person who is wanted by INTERPOL in Sierra Leone for conspiring to commit crime to wit defrauding by false pretense. Checks in the WAPIS database helps find evidence related to this person.
· Connectivity: The completion of the Wide Area Network (WAPIS- WAN) has extended WAPIS database to stakeholders (Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service Ghana Immigration Service and the Narcotics Control Commission) which has enabled stakeholders to input directly into the database. This has enhanced Data Sharing among these institutions thereby speeding up investigations leading to timely prosecution of offenders
More information on the WAPIS project is available at: