Two (2) soldiers identified as Staff Sergeant Francis Kwame Boateng of 3BN in Sunyani and Lance Corporeal Richard Ayimadu and a Prisons officer, Lance Corporal Joseph Trezeguet of the Kumasi Central Prisons have been arrested alongside 4 others for allegedly robbing small scale miners in Koniyaw, near Bekwai in the Ashanti Region.
The others who are not security officers include; Kwadwo Yeboah,25; Ankrah Bright,27; Yaw Fosu,26; and Appiah Samuel, 25.
Items retrieved from the robbers included 3BB Cartridges, a pumping machine, a stolen blanket containing black gold concentrate. A Ford vehicle used by the robbers for transportation has also been impounded. All items are in the custody of the police.
According to the Divisional Police Command of Bekwai which confirmed the arrest to MyNewsGh.com, the military man and the Prisons officer together with their accomplices numbering about 12, attacked a small scale mining site at Koniyaw and made away with a blanket containing black gold concentrate.
Immediately, the police received a distress call from one of the small scale miners, and swiftly dispatched officers to the crime scene.
On the way to the scene, the police met the robbers who were escaping in a Ford Transit bus without a number plate. Upon seeing the police, the robbers disembarked and took to their heels. But the police managed to arrest four suspects while seven successfully escaped into the nearby bushes. The arrested four had among them the security officers (a military man and a Prisons officer). The two others were Agyemang Prempeh, 30, driver of the Ford and Salifu Rashad, 27.
The police put them in their vehicle and headed for the police station but Francis Kwame Boateng jumped off the speeding vehicle and disappeared into the bush.
Later residents of the area having heard of the robbery mobilised themselves and arrested six of the alleged robbers, among whom the intrepid military man who had jumped off the moving police vehicle and the second military officer Lance Corporeal Richard Ayimadu and the four others named above.
Robberies of mining sites in the Bekwai area led by suspected security personnel has become rampant. Presence of security persons in the gangs has ensured that the robbers always managed to escape but the police have adopted new strategies to deal with the unfortunate trend.