Managers of a Chinese plastic company, Tai Heng at Achimota in Accra, have been busted by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for illegally connecting electricity, costing the power company a whopping GH˘62, 992.

Apparently, the company has been illegally consuming power for the past two years without being detected. According to the Divisional Manager of ECG in charge of Revenue Protection, David Asamoah, the Tai Heng company, which manufactured plastic chairs and buckets, had cunningly manipulated its power cables to enable it to by-pass the ECG meter and practically use power for free.

To evade detection, the company runs normal electricity connection during the day, but at night when it undertakes heavy-duty production, power cables are pulled out of the meter tapped directly into the main power lines.

“They operate it on a daily bases. They operate day and night, so during the night, they don’t pay for what they use,” Ishmael Tetteh-Oku, the ECG Revenue Protection Coordinator who spotted the anomaly, told media men on Thursday.

The company, based in the popular Benjilo Plaza in Achimota, a suburb of Accra, was on Thursday stormed by revenue officers of ECG and a special unit of Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The company has essentially used over 120,000 kilowatt per hour of power without paying a dime to the ECG.

The illegal connection was cleverly done in such a way that it outwitted the ECG monitoring team for a long time, Mr. Asamoah stated, adding, “With this type of illegal connection, it takes experts to identify them.”

According to Mr. Asamoah, the ECG started suspecting the company when it realized that even though it was undertaking normal production, the total monthly power consumption of the company had dropped drastically. Indeed, the ECG estimates that the company pays electricity bills worth just one-third of what the company actually consumes.

The Arrest

On Thursday, a team of ECG officials, the media and police CID personnel stormed the company unannounced, in a bid to apprehend the managers of the company, apparently because they had refused to honour an earlier invitation by the ECG.

But when the managers caught wind of the swoop, they took to their heels, leaving one Chinese worker at the premises. The worker could hardly speak a word in English.

This would be the second time the embattled Chinese company has been cited for illegal connection.

According to the ECG Revenue Protection Manager, the national power company would not relent in its efforts to bring the owners of the company to book. He indicated that an arrest warrant had been issued and when finally caught, the managers of Tai Heng would be processed for court.

The company would also be compelled to pay penalties and all the cost of the energy it consumed illegally for two years.

“They [Tai Heng] are not the first company [to be clamped down for illegal connection]. We are embarking on an extensive exercise in our catchment area,” Mr. Asamoah told DAILY GUIDE.

Bane Of Illegal Connection

ECG is battling serious image issues because it has consistently failed to fulfill its full responsibility of providing regular power to consumers in the country. But the company claims that a major cause of its failure is the rampant illegal connections plaguing the company.

According to Mr. Asamoah, last year alone, the ECG lost over GH˘1.4 million to illegal power connections.

Source: Daily Guide