THE ASHANTI Regional Police Command has arrested one military officer and his civilian accomplices believed to be members of a robbery syndicate operating in the region.
Private David Osei Kofi, 23, a serving military police at Burma Camp in Accra, and his friends, Twum Bediako, 21, and Philip Quashie, 22, who were also in military uniforms, were arrested at Pakyi near Kumasi around 10pm on April 1, 2013.
The three men had gone to a galamsey mining site at Manso Nwieneso No.3 in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region to commit the unlawful act and were returning to their base when they were grabbed.
The latest arrest brings to 11 the number of serving security officers arrested for robbery at various mining sites in the region in recent times.
On Monday, October 29, 2012, Lance Corporal Prince Quaye, 27 and 2nd Class Officer Adu Mensah, 26, both serving warders at Amanfrom Camp Prison in the region, and their two civilian accomplices, were arrested by the police command for a similar offence.
They were caught red-handed after storming a Chinese mining site at Manso Abodom with the aim to rob the miners.
In August that same year, five soldiers, two police officers and an immigration officer, also believed to be members of robbery syndicates operating in some parts of the country, were arrested by the Ashanti Regional Police Command.
They were identified as Lance Corporal Farouk, Lance Corporal Tommy, Private Ahmed Ride-Wan, Private Nasser Gideon and Lance Bombardier Frimpong.
Their counterparts from the police were named as Constable Murtala Musah of the Buffalo Unit and G/Constable Bismark Ntow of Zongo Police Station, in Kumasi, while the immigration officer was identified as Felix Ntaah, a 44-year-old married man with six children stationed at Baglu in the Volta Region.
In the case of the soldiers, while Lance Corporals Farouk and Tommy were with the 4BN in Kumasi, Privates Ahmed Ride-Wan and Nasser Gideon were with the Tamale Air Borne Force, and Lance Corporal Bombardier Frimpong with the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho.
Briefing the media yesterday in Kumasi, DCOP Augustine Gyening, the Regional Police Commander, said the latest case of the private soldier was a replica of previous ones involving serving security personnel and their civilian accomplices.
According to him, the suspect and his two civilian accomplices, on April Fools’ Day, went to a Chinese mining site at Nwieneso No.3 in the Manso area to rob the victims of mobile phones, laptops and some cash.
He narrated that the suspects escaped from the village through the bush when the alarm was raised.
The police boss said his men, armed with the information, tracked down the suspects and arrested them at Pakyi No. 2 on their way to Kumasi around 10pm.
DCOP Gyening stated that the suspects confessed to assaulting their victims, but denied the charge of robbery.
He noted that the police suspected the threesome to be members of robbery gangs who had been frequenting mining sites in the area and terrorising operators.
He called on members of the public to come forward to identify the suspect in order to obtain more incriminating evidence against them so they could be convicted.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi