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24.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Police Grabs One Suspect

By Daily Graphic
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The police have arrested one of the armed robbers who attacked some travelers on the Wenchi-Bamboi road last Saturday night and made away with money, jewellery and mobile phones.

The Inspector - General of Police, Nana Owusu –Nsiah, who disclosed this in an interview on Wednesday, named the suspect as Haruna Baba, 23.

He said he had directed that the suspect be brought to the police headquarters in Accra for thorough interrogation.

He also said some arms; masks and a military uniform were retrieved from the suspect in his hideout at a village near Wenchi.

Nana Owusu – Nsiah said although the suspect claimed to hail from Bawku in the Upper East Region, reports from the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, indicated that the suspect had features that suggest that he was Fulani.

A group of armed robbers attacked passengers and motorists, including Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, the legal director of the commonwealth secretariat in London, who were traveling on the Wenchi – Bamboi road on Saturday night and robbed them of large sums of money and other properties.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah assured the members of the public that the security agencies were doing everything possible to deal with the problem.

As part of measures, he said the highway patrols had been decentralized with effect from Monday.

Until then, he said, the patrol were centralized and operated from the national headquarters in Accra.

He said joint military/police teams had already been set up in the various capitals waiting the arrival of vehicles.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah explained that the problem of the patrol teams had been with the issue of vehicles for the various regional teams but gave the assurance that by next week; each regional command would have at least two vehicles to support the highway patrols.

He said the security agencies had also put a lot of intelligence on the ground to gather more information o the armed robbers and their activities so that the police could easily clip their wings.

Commenting on the upsurge in the robbery, he explained that the robbers seemed to be capitalizing on the inability of the police and the military to be on all the roads all the time to engage in such acts.

He explained for instance, that last weekend, two different patrol teams operated on the Techiman-Kintampo and the Techiman-Sunyani roads, while the robbers struck on the Wenchi-Bamboi road. “ Not until we are able to cover all the major roads, it will be difficult to clamp down on highway robberies”, he stressed.

Nana Owusu – Nsiah said the robbery cases appeared to be in areas dominated by a large Fulani presence, adding that the Fulanis often enjoy the connivance of some Ghanaians.

The IGP said the security agencies were also collaborating with their counterparts in the sub-region to flush out criminals who might be fleeing from on country to another.

He appealed to members of the public to support the security agencies in this national exercise by volunteering information on suspected criminals, as well as providing logistics.