Two more suspects connected to bullion van robberies in Accra have been hauled before an Accra Circuit Court.
The suspects are Constable Nelson Tetteh, a police officer and Buba Zakari, also known as Rasta, a motorbike mechanic. The two have been charged with abetment of robbery.
This brings the total number of persons standing trial for the alleged robberies to six.
The two new suspects join Yaro Afisu Ibrahim, Richard Boadu, Rabiu Jambedu, and Albert Ofosu, who are all constables in the robbery trial.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
Per the facts of the case, on 22 February 2022, the suspects armed with AK47 assault rifles attacked and fired at a bullion van with registration number GN 424-14 at North Kaneshie in an attempt to steal an unspecified amount of money belonging to Mon-Tran Ghana Ltd.
Counsel for the accused persons urged the court to grant them bail. They insisted their clients are serving police officers with a fixed place of abode and have people of substance who are willing to stand as sureties for them.
According to them, the suspects satisfied all the requirements in Section 96 of Act 30 to be granted bail.
The lawyers are Justin Pwavra Teriwaja, David Bondori, Divine Dotse Tettey, Jango Nuhu, and Andrew Vortia.
But the prosecution opposed the bail application.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sylvester Asare argued that the accused should be remanded for the public interest.
He said the accused persons were flight risk and would not show up for the trial when granted bail, adding that the accused are recruited constables who are yet to complete their 18-month mandatory probation.
He added that the accused persons were given special training with the public purse to protect the public and not harm the public, as has occurred in this case.
The trial judge Evelyn Asamoah sided with the prosecution and remanded the accused persons.
In her ruling, she stated that considering the nature of the offence and severity of the punishment, the accused are remanded to reappear on 2 June.
She ordered the prosecution to file their disclosures by 30 May.
The facts of the case presented to the court by DSP Slyvester Asare were that the first four were police officers while the fifth was 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 inquiries 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.