Four cops involved in bullion van robberies denied bail

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An Accra Circuit Court has denied bail for the four police officers arrested in connection with bullion van robberies in Accra for the third time.

The four, together with a civilian, Razak Alhassan, are to answer robbery charges.

But the civilian was discharged after the prosecution claimed there was no evidence to link him to the crime.

The officers are Constable Affisu, Yaro Ibrahim, Constable Richard Boadu, Constable Rabiu Jambedu, and Constable Albert Ofosu.

Ibrahim and Ofosu have been charged with attempted robbery, while Boadu, Jambedu and Alhassan have been charged with abetment.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the said charges.

When the case was called on Tuesday, 5 April, counsel for the accused officers again prayed the court to grant the accused bail, explaining that they were police officers who are known by the service and cannot abscond.

It was the view of the defence team that there is no substantial evidence against the accused officers and hence should be granted bail.

The prosecution, however, disagreed.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Slyvester Asare urged the court to remand the accused persons as investigations were still ongoing.

The trial court judge Patricia Amponsah sided with the prosecution and refused the accused persons’ bail.

The four officers are to reappear in court on 25 April 2022.

Meanwhile, James, Omor Naija and Philip-all said to be at large, were mentioned in the amended charge sheet presented on Tuesday.

Amended Facts

The facts of the case presented to the court by DSP Slyvester Asare were that the first four are police officers while the fifth is a scrap dealer.

Sometime in 2021, the Ghana Police Service recorded a series of street robberies and attacks on bullion vans.

Following the recent robberies, the service mounted surveillance on the suspected robbers undertaking these unlawful activities within the capital.

On 22 February 2022, the police received a report of an attack on a bullion van with registration number GN 424-14 at North Kaneshie, a suburb of Accra, by some gunmen.

The police launched an investigation into the alleged robbery, which led to the arrest of Constable Reindolph Gyimah Ansah, also known as Pablo [deceased], who admitted the offence during interrogation.

“Further enquiries led to the arrest of Lance Corporal [L/Cpl.] Stephen Nyame [also deceased] and the accused persons herein and other accomplices who are at large,” the prosecution said.

Investigations also revealed that the accused persons herein were friends and recruits mates at the police training school.

The accused persons, including the deceased officers, after their basic training, were said to have been posted to the National SWAT Unit, Police Headquarters.

DSP Asare said the accused persons who were posted to the National SWAT Unit went through tactical and specialised weapon training to equip them for the function of the SWAT Unit, which includes escort and protection of bullion vans.

According to the prosecution, sometime in February 2022, the accused persons, including their deceased officers and those at large, agreed to attack and rob a bullion van with registration number GN 424-14.

He said that pursuant to their agreement, the accused persons, on 22 February 2021, attacked a bullion van with registration number GN 424-14 at North Kaneshie Industrial Area.

DSP Asare said the accused persons armed with AK 47 assault rifles and, in their quest to rob the van’s occupants, fired several shots at the bulletproof bullion van belonging to Mon-Tran Ghana Ltd.

Further investigations also showed that the accused persons used two Royal motorbikes during the attack.

“It has been established that the fourth accused and one other at large were those who rode the two Royal motorbikes on that faithful day,” the prosecution narrated.

However, the strikers who sat behind the riders and did the firing during the robbery attack were the first and second accused.

During the operation, the third accused used another motorbike to monitor and ensure that there were no attempts to foil their attack.

“Although the accused persons had admitted some and denied some of the robberies that occurred during the period of February 2021 to February 2022, there is enough evidence on record to the effect that accused persons herein together with their accomplices agreed to attack and rob bullion vans,” the prosecution said.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to apprehend the other accomplices.

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