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04.11.2008 Crime & Punishment

Armed men raid Ashaiman depot

Armed men raid Ashaiman depot

Five armed men at the weekend attacked a distribution depot at Ashaiman New Town, took the security men from Goldcrest Limited who were at the depot to collect sales on behalf of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) hostage and made away with GH¢50, 000.

Chief Inspector Olivia Turkson of the Tema Regional Police Command confirmed to the Daily Graphic that "staff of Goldcrest were busy counting money inside the depot when an Opel Kadett saloon car drew up at the gate around 10.00 a.m. Four armed men jumped out and three of them ran into the depot, while the fourth stood guard at the gate”.

She said once inside the depot, the three men found the staff members of Goldcrest counting money in the presence of Mrs Florence Babanaho, the wife of the depot owner, Mr Emmanuel Babanaho, and ordered them to lie on the floor.

The robbers then scooped up the money being counted into a bag and ran out of the depot, firing shots into the air and causing bystanders to flee.

Chief Inspector Turkson said the driver of the robbery vehicle, which was parked some distance away, reversed to the gate and the four men jumped in. He then sped off, with some of the gunmen still firing through the windows of the car.

The brazen daylight operation took, no more than three minutes, she quoted witnesses as telling the police.

She said eyewitnesses showed the police the escape route the robbers took and the police pursued them in a police vehicle but the robbers managed to escape.

Chief Inspector Turkson said the police returned to the crime scene and picked up shells fired from the robbers' guns for forensic analysis.

She disputed the sum quoted by Goldcrest Limited as having been snatched by the gunmen, saying the police checked the ledger books of the bank and found the money was less than GH¢50,000 but did pot state the actual amount.

However, the leader of the Goldcrest leader which went to take delivery of the money and who gave his name as Mr Minta insisted that GH¢50,O0O had been seized by the robbers.

"There are many rooms inside the depot. That the robbers went straight to the room where the money was being counted suggests that the robbery may have been an inside job," Chief Inspector Turkson said.

The GCB and Goldcrest Limited at the weekend offered, through the police, a. handsome cash reward, for information which would lead to the location and arrest of the robbers.

In another incident, police conducting snap checks on the Afienya- Tema road at 12.30 a.m. on Sunday intercepted a Hyundai bus, with registration number GW 8934 Z; and seized 119 parcels of cannabis concealed in sack containing foodstuffs.

Chief Inspector Turkson said the police arrested Ms Lydia Dogbe, 32; Madam Dzigbodi, 42, a nursing mother; Mardoc Kojo, 25; Francis Eklu; 22, and Tsino Dunu, 25, who were on the bus.

She said Ms Dogbe and Madam Dzigbodi claimed ownership of the 119 parcels.