Two members of an alleged gang of thieves have challenged a trader’s claim that GH¢97,000 of his trade capital was stolen at the Rawlings Park in Accra.
According to the two alleged thieves, currently on trial, the amount stolen was GH¢95,000 and not the figure quoted by the trader, Richard Dotse.
The gang allegedly made the claim while being interrogated by the police. The police identified four members of the gang, but have been able to arrest only two.
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Those arrested are Bernard Botwe, alias Jollof, 29 years, and Michael Duodu, 21, whereas the two others – Star Boy and Banny – are at large.
Botwe and Duodo were arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court on conspiracy to commit crime, and stealing charges last week. The court, presided over by Oheneba Kuffour, did not take the pleas of the accused persons, but remanded them into police custody, after the facts of the case were read.
According to the prosecution, led by ASP Peter A. Safo, Mr. Dotse (complainant), aside being a trader, is also a commercial driver based in Ho, Volta Region. He said the accused persons, and two others yet to be identified by their real names, are residents of James Town.
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The court was told that on May 19, 2023, the complainant arrived at the Rawlings Park at about 5:20am and parked his Sprinter Benz bus containing GH¢110,000.00 wrapped in a polythene bag.
He added that the complainant was going to use the money to purchase hardware and other items to restock his shop and that of his wife in Ho.
At about 8:02am, the complainant took GH¢10,300.00 out of the money to pay for some goods, without straying far from the vehicle.
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However, when the complainant was about paying for second delivery of the goods, which were being offloaded into vehicle, he realised the money was no longer at the place he had hidden it.
The trader reported the matter to the police, and on May 30, 2023, the National Police Intelligence Directorate intercepted intelligence that the suspects who stole the money were hiding at Teshie and its environs.
A team of officers from the Directorate was dispatched to the said location to ascertain the facts on the ground, and on the same day, at about 10:40pm, the team spotted and arrested suspects Bernard Botwe @Jollof and Michael Duodu @Akuffo Addo.
The team retrieved a television set, a small cooking stove, a standing fan, and a mini keypad mobile phone from where the accused were staying.
The court was informed that during a brief interrogation, the accused persons admitted the offence and mentioned that the amount stolen from the complainant was GH¢95,000.00.
The accused persons alleged that the money was stolen by one Banny, at large, and was handed over to Bernard Botwe @Jollof, their ringleader.
Botwe also claimed that the booty was shared among six persons, namely, Michael Doudu @Akuffo Addo, Banny @large, Starboy @large, and two others whose names are currently unknown.
Botwe indicated that Michael Duodu received GH¢5,000.00, Banny had GH¢15,000.00, Starboy also had GH¢5,000.00 and the two other had GH¢6,000.00 each, whilst he took GH¢58,000.00, as the ringleader.
The ringleader said one of his members, Michael Duodu, was arrested and held hostage by another group, led by Intelligent aka Honey, to pay a ransom of GH¢30,000 before they release him. The prosecutor said while efforts were being made to arrest Intelligent and his accomplices, it was based on these facts that the accused persons were charged before the court.