A suspected gangster has been killed and another arrested in a shoot-out between highwaymen and the police at Juaso Junction in the Asante-Akim South District in the Ashanti Region.
The identity of the deceased has not been established but the captured suspect was identified as Ibrahim Amadu, 35, who is said to be a Malian.
After the shoot-out and the arrest, the police retrieved three locally-made pistols, two shotguns, four torches, 35 live cartridges, a mask, two mobile phones, a digital camera and GH¢664. Also impounded were two unregistered motorbikes.
Six of the robbers, however, escaped, four of them on two motorbikes and two on foot. The police at Juaso have mounted a search for them.
Two victims, a cargo vehicle driver and his mate, sustained injuries at the hands of the robbers and are receiving treatment at the Juaso Government Hospital.
According to the police, they learnt at about 3:30 a.m. yesterday that the gang had struck at Dadieso on the Kumasi-Accra highway during the night by blocking the main Accra-Kumasi road and robbing passengers and drivers of their personal belongings.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Unit said the Juaso District Commander, Superintendent Oppong Agripah, quickly mobilised men to arrest the robbers.
As the police were about to leave for the crime scene, they received another call that the robbers had left the scene and were heading towards Juaso on four motorbikes.
Supt Oppong then positioned his men at three vantage points where they envisaged the robbers were going to pass and kept vigil for the gang.
Noticing the police on the way, the highwaymen on motorbikes opened fire, to which the police replied. When the police fired at the gang, one of the riders was hit, forcing the motorbike to fall. He died instantly.
The last two members of the gang on the fourth motorbike, sensing danger, abandoned the motorbike and took to their heels but the police chased them and managed to arrest one, while the others escaped through the darkness.
The police have since cautioned the public to be on the lookout and asked hospitals to report anyone who reports with gunshot wounds.
In a related development Nana Yaw Barimah reports from Konongo that the Konongo Police Divisional Command has intensified operations to clamp down on the incessant highway robbery and other forms of robbery within the division's juridiction.
Chief Superintendent Richard Baduweh told the Daily Graphic at Konongo after the arrest of one of the armed robbers that tough measures and other strategies had been put in place to deal with the situation.
He, however, expressed concern about the rate of highway robberies, especially on the Konongo-Nkawkaw highway, and appealed to the people to assist the police with credible information to enable them to reduce the incidence of armed robbery in the area.
Mr Baduweh commended the Asante-Akim North Distict Administration for donating a vehicle to the command to augment its patrol equipment.
Story by Enoch Darfah Frimpong