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18.03.2006 Crime & Punishment

Armed Robbers Adopt ‘Pay Or Die’ Tactic

By Mirror

For the affluent and middle level resident in Kumasi and its environs, the act of receiving letters has become a nightmare. Instead of armed robbers attacking this category of residents with guns, knives and other offensive weapons and robbing them of their cash and other valuable items, as was the order of the past, they have now adopted the new tactic of writing frightening letters to their victims, warning them to deposit huge sums of money at specified places or lose their lives.

The robbers also use every means to get the telephone numbers of their victims and either call them or send text messages ordering their victims to deposit huge sums of money at secluded areas for collection, failure of which would result in death or getting maimed for life.

So far, a number of residents in Kumasi have fallen prey top the new scheme, of the armed robbers. A statement signed and issued by the Assistant Superintendent of Police Jordan Quaye of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Directorate said the robbers asked their victims ”for large sums of cash to be delivered at certain isolated points for collection. They warn their victims not to inform the police or they will be robbed, killed or, if they are females, raped”.

The statement explained that the robbers first identify ”some wealthy persons in society through their children in school, their house helps or telephone directories, either write frightening letters to them or call the victims on their cell phones”.mIt drew the attention of the public to the new tactics of the criminals and warned the people never to cooperate with the criminals to enable them to achieve their selfish objectives. It said the criminals might go ahead and carry out their threat, whether their victims cooperated or not, explaining that the criminals may be hired by opponents in the long standing litigation which may be still standing in court.”

It, therefore, advised the public to immediately inform the police if anytime they were threatened and gave the assurance that the police would provide them with the needed protection anytime they drew their attention to their predicaments.

“Never trust nor take kindly to the words of any criminal,” it advised, adding,” They are evil so never comply nor give in to their dangerous demands.”

It said, it was very important for the public to 'strictly cooperate with the –police and follow their directives to make it easy for criminals to be apprehended. “You do not have any choice; just call the police in the event of any threat of death or harm,” it further advised.