23 May 2012

Ghana: Policeman, Ex-Soldier Busted for Extortion

Four suspects are in custody at the Accra Regional Police Command for robbery and extortion.

The suspects, Iddrisu Ato, 31, a dismissed air force personnel, Agbeko Manah, 28, a carpenter, Harrison Tawiah, 36, a taxi driver, and Lance Corporal Martin Agyare, 38, of the Mobile Force Unit in Accra, were arrested on May 21, 2012 at Achimota, a suburb of Accra, when they were about to attack and extort money from their victims.

Briefing The Chronicle yesterday in Accra, the Deputy Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Christian Yohonu, said on May 21, 2012, at about 12 noon, his outfit had a tip-off that a group of men had been parading themselves in police and military uniforms, and attacking and extorting money from their victims.

According to him, based on the information the police had, the Accra Regional Police Command dispatched a team of personnel in plain clothes to the scene.

He said around 5:30 p.m., four well-built men, one in police uniform, another in military uniform, and two others in civilian clothes in a KIA Reo taxi cab with registration number GE 7537-11, got down at the Achimota charcoal station and attempted to extort money from the victims

The suspects, according to DCOP Yohunu, were immediately arrested and taken to the police station. He said on their way Iddrisu Ato quickly tore of the military uniform on him and threw it away. This, he said, made them suspect that Ato was not a military personnel.

He noted that during interrogation, the police found out that Martin Agyare was a Lance Corporal at the Mobile Force Unit in Accra, while Iddrisu Ato was dismissed from the military on November 16, 2007.

During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they usually go to the "Wee" base area to arrest their victims, and on their way take money from them. They also confessed that they usually operated around the Institute of Professional Studies near Legon, Achimota, Adenta and surrounding areas.

He said upon their arrest, one victim, who came to the police station, identified Agbeko Manah as one those who attacked him and took away his motorbike and some dollars.

A search on them revealed an AK47 assault rifle and two handcuffs belonging to the police officer.

Meanwhile, the taxi cab has been impounded at the Regional Police Headquarters for further investigations, with the suspects in police custody to be put before court as soon as possible.

The Deputy Police CommenderDCOP Yohonu has appealed to the general public not hesitate to support the police operations with information on criminal activities and their hideout of criminals.

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