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17.02.2009 General News

4 Policemen and a soldier in robbery attack

4  Policemen and a soldier in robbery attack

The security agencies are investigating a case in which four serving policemen and a soldier are alleged to have attacked a Ghanaian businessman at a hotel in Accra and violently robbed him of his cash and personal effects.

The four were said to have carried out an operation at the hotel and took away from the victim, who is said to be domiciled in Europe, $53, OOO, €1 ,000, GH¢2,000, cosmetics, jewellery and other personal effects.

The policemen allegedly involved in the crime have been identified as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kwapong, the Head of the Rapid Response Deployment (RRD) Unit of the Police Service; Chief Inspector Thomas Adu of the Panthers Unit, Police Headquarters; one Sgt Quansah and DSP K. Agyapong, both based in Accra, while the name of the soldier has not been made available.

It is alleged that Chief Inspector Adu, on February 2, 2009, led the team of policemen to the hotel in Dzorwulu and robbed Mr Kweku Duah, the Ghanaian businessman, of the items and the cash.

In addition, Chief Inspector Adu and his men allegedly assaulted Mr Duah, whom they had framed up with narcotic charges.

According to security sources, DSP Kwapong and Chief Inspector Ado had admitted carrying out the said operation but denied taking any money from Mr Duah.

The sources said the two also met and allegedly confessed to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, Mr Atta Akyea, who is a friend of and counsel for the victim.

Mr Duah, who, for the past 20 years, had been living outside the country, returned to Ghana to purchase gold, and having stayed away for that long, he contacted a friend,
Ams Amanor who is based in Tema, to find someone who could help him get the gold.

In the evening of the day of Mr Duah's arrival Amanor took him to a house in Tema to meet the man who was supposed to be in possession of gold, but the man never showed up, after waiting for him for hours.

They, therefore, decided to have him come to Duah's hotel the following day with the mineral for the transaction to take place.

As agreed, on the following day, February 2, Amanor showed up at the hotel around 10 a.m. with two other persons with a box containing the supposed gold.

Just before the transaction could start, Amanor asked to be excused to dash to his car which was parked at the hotel car park to fetch a chemical to confirm the substance as gold.

Barely had Amanor left the hotel room than Mr Duah received a telephone call from the hotel's reception that some heavily armed policemen were looking for him.

Mr Duah, according to the source, tried to open the door but realised that it had been locked from outside and the key taken away.

Suddenly, one of the two men, later identified as Kwame Attah, alias K, who was supposed to be holding the box of gold, drew a pistol and threatened to kill Mr Duah if he did not surrender all the money on him.

At that point, Mr Duah was said to have hit the hand of the gunman and the weapon dropped. He managed to escape through the window of his hotel room, only to be pounced upon outside by six policemen, all wielding guns.

Chief Inspector Adu was said to have given the victim a slap, after which he ordered his boys who had no name tags or police numbers on their uniforms to drag him into a waiting Mercedes Benz car.

According to the security men at the hotel, the other vehicles were a red Toyota Corolla, with registration number GS 2119 Z, and a red Dodge Durango pick-up, with temporary registration number DV 4951 and which was driven by Kwame Attah.

According to the report, before they violently dragged Mr Duah into the car, the policemen conducted a body search on him and took away the cash and items in the pockets of his trousers arid some euro notes from his passport.

The policemen also ransacked his hotel room, taking away the other items.

According to the security sources, instead of taking Mr Duah to the police station, Chief Inspector Adu of the Partthe11! Unit drove the victim to a drinking spot at the Tesano Police Depot in Accra.

From there, the victim, who was said to be bleeding profusely from the assault, was taken to DSP Kwapong at the Police Depot, who directed Kwame Attah to place three wrapped materials on the victim's laps and take a photograph of him.

The police, in addition, allegedly demanded $30,000 from the victim or have his photograph published in the media for dealing in cocaine.

When he pleaded that he did not have the money, Mr Duah was later driven by the police to Tema and dumped at a spot from where Amanor picked him up back to Mr Duah's hotel and a report lodged the following day at the Central Police Station, Accra.

Following the report, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bright Oduro, had DSP Kwapong and Chief Inspector Adu invited to his office where they allegedly confessed carrying out the operation.

A check from an MTN office confirmed that the two police officers had been in communication with Amanor, Kwame Attah and others on their mobile phones prior to the attack and after.

Mr Odame, a cm officer, took their statements and those of eyewitnesses, including the hotel manager and Mr Duah, who was referred to the Police Hospital for treatment.

Kwame Attah, who had claimed to be a member of staff at the National Security Headquarters, Castle Annex, is yet to be located by the police.

When contacted, ACP Bright Oduro confirmed the story but said the four policemen had been granted police bail.

He said he had reported the case to the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and denied his personal involvement in it.