Policeman killed in bullion van robbery, GH₵500,000 stolen

A police officer guarding a bullion van has been killed by armed robbers on the Adansi Fomena road in the Ashanti Region.

The police officer, identified as Lance Corporal Martin Babah, died on the spot after he was shot by the robbers numbering about 10.

The incident is said to have happened at about 10:30 on Tuesday.

The robbers reportedly made away with an amount of GH¢500,000 which was in a bullion Van and one AK 47 assault rifle.

A police situational report on the incident described it as “robbery and murder”.

“About 10 young men unmasked wielding assorted guns, including AK 47 rifles attacked and robbed a white bullion Van with registration number GT 543-19 from Ghana Commercial Bank, Dunkwa to New Edubiase, fired indiscriminately from the rear and facing the van.

“The robbers attacked the Van on the section of the road between Obuasi and Adansi Asokwa Junction at the outskirts of Adansi Nyankumaso Community and made away with GH¢500,000.00),” the report said.

According to the police report, Lance Corporal Babah, who was on board the vehicle as its escort was reportedly shot by the robbers, leading to his death.

The van was being driven by 36-year-old Eric Amoah and Emmanuel Boateng, 33 years, also an escort. Both men are personnel of the Delta Security Services.

The two private security men did not sustain any injury.

The driver reportedly handed over the keys to the robbers to have access to the money in the van upon demand.

The robbers after killing the said police escort took away his AK 47 service rifle No.6411/11 with 20 rounds.

Bullion van accidents

Meanwhile, Ghana’s bullion vans are not new to accidents.

March 29, 2012

There was a scramble as passers-by and second-hand phone dealers struggled for access to large sums of money that had dropped from a Toyota bullion van which had been involved in an accident at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

The speeding bullion van with registration number GW 1847 S and travelling from Accra New Town towards the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, collided with a VIP bus at an intersection near the Vodafone Head Office.

With the occupants of the vehicle trapped inside, the army of second-hand phone dealers and passers-by who rushed to the accident scene took to looting the wads of cash that spilled from the vehicle.

July 21, 2018

A police officer, who was guarding a bullion van reportedly shot and killed the bullion driver by accident at Odumase Krobo in the Eastern Region.

The bullion van driver reportedly met a rowdy funeral procession on the Odumase Krobo road.

The police officer, who was guarding the bullion van, in an attempt to restore order for the van to drive through the noisy funeral procession, fired warning shots, which bullet hit the driver.

October 4, 2019

One person was confirmed dead following a head-on collision between a Bank of Ghana bullion van and a fuel tanker at Techiman in the Bono East Region.

The collision also sent thousands of Ghana cedis notes flying into the sky and scattered on the road.

December 3, 2019

On December 3, 2019, a police officer was confirmed dead after a bullion van he was escorting was attacked by some armed men.

The deceased, Sergeant Emmanuel Chikudoh was part of a team escorting an ADB bullion van to Essam in the Western Region when the incident occurred.

October 7, 2020

On October 7, 2020, two people who connived to steal more than GH¢ 1 million they were transporting in a bullion van for a bank were sentenced to four years in prison.

A Cash in Transit (CIT) Officer, Bismark Abem, and a driver, Eric Larbi, were found guilty of two charges—conspiracy to commit crime and stealing.

What is the way forward?

Following these reoccurrences, a security analyst, Adam Bona, adviced the Ghana Police Service and Governor of the Bank of Ghana to end the practice of using police officers to escort bullion vans.

“Why should police officers in the 21st century be escorting money? This was done in the 18th and 19th centuries. No serious country does that. You don’t use state resources to be transporting money.

“Technology has made it possible to use armoured-fit-for- purpose bullion vans and these bullion vans usually have what is called money shredders. And so if you attack a bullion van, that was in motion carrying money, what happens is that these bullion vans ignite a chemicalized component that spills over this money and a chunk of this money gets shredded,” he said.

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