Cop, 2 robbers die in gun battle

The suspects after the arrest.A gun battle between 12 suspected armed robbers and the police at Weija, Accra at midnight yesterday, resulted in the death of one of the policemen and two of the robbers.

Six of the robbers, Isaac Mensah, 28; Kwesi Bentum, 28, Kwame Anokye, 24; Amos Bortey Borketey, 21; Yaw Richard, 22 and Sylvester Otwe, 27, were arrested by the police.

The police have mounted a search for the other suspected robbers said to be between the ages of 19 and 30, who managed to escape, with gunshot wounds.

The Police victim was Constable Prince Charles Akattah, 31, of the Greater Accra Regional Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) Unit, who died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital as a result of excessive bleeding from a gunshot wound in the thigh.

The two armed robbers who fell in the battle were only named as Doodo and Ampoma.

Four vehicles, a Ford bus, a Kia truck, a taxi-cab and a Saloon car being used by the robbers, local and foreign pistols, live cartridges, cutters, pliers and a long metal bar were seized from the robbers.

Shortly after the incident, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, visited the bereaved family of the policeman to console them and announced the posthumous promotion of the Constable to Corporal.

Speaking to the press, the Greater Accra Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Christian Tetteh Yohuno, said information available to the police indicated that the suspects were a gang of robbers based in Oda, in the Eastern Region, but had been operating in Accra, Tema, Ashiaman and its environs.

He said the police, upon picking information that a gang of robbers was on its way to attack residents of Weija, Accra, acted by taking positions around the area and the suspects, upon sighting them opened fire on them.

The police returned the fire and during the exchanges, the robbers fled in a Ford vehicle which the police pursued until they ran into a ditch and unable to move the vehicle again, abandoned it and took to their heels.

The police gave them a chase, shot at them, resulting in the two falling and the arrest of the six.

He said the robbers often used a taxi to survey vicinities to ensure that there were no police barriers on a road before going into action to attack their victims

DCOP Yohuno said the suspects were responsible for the death of the Melcom security man who was hit with a concrete block some months ago at Madina, in an attack on the supermarket.

According to him, the same group attacked a cocoa warehouse in a village near Oda in the Eastern Region and killed the securityman before loading the bags of cocoa into a Kia truck and bolting.

The same gang attacked a shop at East Legon and bolted with an unspecified amount of money and items.

DCOP Yohuno said the operation was a breakthrough for the Greater Accra Regional Police Command in its fight against armed robbers.

He appealed to health facilities and the public to be on the lookout and report any person with gunshot wounds to the police.

By Agnes Opoku Sarpong

 

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