An excavator operator was jailed 40 years for aiding a gang to rob a Chinese man.
A 23 year-old excavator operator, Solomon Mensah, is sentenced to 40 years imprisonment with hard labour, by Tarkwa Circuit Court for aiding of robbery and possession of fire arm without authority.
Narrating the facts of the case, Police Chief Inspector Oscar Amponsah, told the court, presided by Mr. Justice Obeng Asante that the complainant, Lan Jianganis, is a Chinese national, and a small-scale mining operator of a mining site at Oda-Krofrom near Asankrangwa.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said, Mensah worked with the Chinese as an excavator machine operator, and the sixth accused person who is popularly known as Network who is at large, is a friend of Mensah, and a former casual worker with the Chinese's mining company.
The prosecution said, on January 15, the sixth accused person returned from Kumasi and convinced Mensah to team up with him to rob the complainant.
He said the two had reached an agreement and decided on a date the robbery will take place and the second accused person left for Kumasi.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said, on January 24, the sixth accused person returned to Asankrangwa with four other accused persons, The Game, Budo, Poku and Sheriff, all illegal miners and now on the run, and met Mensah at the complainant's mining site waiting for them.
He said Mensah told his accomplices to find a place where they could pass the night at Asankrangwa, and proceed on January 25 morning to lay ambush at Oda-Krofrom, since the complainant would be coming to convey all the gold they have mined that morning to Kumasi.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said Mensah assured his accomplices that he would feed them with the necessary information, and so on January 25, Network, The Game, Budo, Poku and Sheriff went and laid ambush about one mile away from the mining site.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said at about 0830 hours on that same day, the complainant and his son Lan Junior arrived at the site with a Mitsubishi black Pick-up, and allegedly collected 7 kilogrammes of gold valued at 859, 586 Ghana Cedis, together with cash sum of 60,000 Ghana cedis, kept all in the vehicle's compartment, and set off for Kumasi.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said immediately the complainant set off from the site, Mensah called his accomplices on a mobile phone and passed the information to them.
He said, on reaching a section of the road between Oda-Krofrom and Oda-Anwiam, the accused persons who were dressed in military uniform stopped the complainant'a vehicle at gun point, assaulted and stripped him naked, and snatched the vehicle containing the gold and money and sped off.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said the complainant reported the matter to the Police at about 10:00 am on that fateful day, who issued him and his son with medical report forms to attend hospital for treatment.
He said upon receiving the report, the Police pursued the accused persons but they did not trace them.
The Prosecution said, the Mitsubishi Pick-up was found abandoned in the bush at Oda-Anwiam, without the gold and money, and the glass on the driver’s side, was also damaged.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said two sets of military uniform, were found in the bush some few miles away from the crime scene.
He said on February 2, Mensah gave his luggage to one Isaac Aboagye, a taxi driver and a witness in the case at Oda-Krofrom to be given to his friend Kofi Adjei, another witness at Asankrangwa, and promised to come for it later when he was ready to travel to Obuasi.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said Aboagye delivered the luggage to Adjei at 2.00 p.m.on February 2.
He said Adjei became curious and opened the luggage to find out what it contained, and to his utter dismay, found two locally manufactured pistols with eight rounds of Garden gun ammunition, one automatic pistol made in France with two rounds of ammunition and a set of Military uniform.
The Prosecutor said, Adjei informed his boss one Osei Yaw of what he saw, and not quite long Mensah arrived at Asankrangwa to collect his luggage. The two men arrested him and handed him over to the Police with the items.
Chief Inspector Amponsah said, upon interrogation, Mensah admitted that the items were for him, and explained that his accomplices brought them from Kumasi to be used in a robbery, and after the operation they were left with him to be transported to Kumasi.
He said, Mensah narrated the role he played in the robbery incident to the Police, and an amount of 10,000 Ghana Cedis was retrieved from him.
In his ruling, the judge issued a bench warrant for the arrest of all the five accused persons.
In addition Mr. Justice Obeng Asante ordered that the locally-manufactured pistols and cartridges be destroyed, while the
France-made pistol should be kept by the Police.
Source: Ghana News Agency