Ashaiman Killing Squad Busted

Benjamin Essel self style Medical Doctor

The Anti-Armed Robbery Unit of the Police Headquarters in a Scotland Yard style operation has nabbed three persons in connection with the killing of a car dealer at Tema. The suspects, who are reportedly resident at Ashaiman, near Tema, are Benjamin Essel, a self-styled Medical Doctor, 29 and a native of Ajumako in the Central Region, Latif Nasiru, 24, from the Republic of Togo and Michael Tetteh, aka James Osei, 22, from Kasseh-Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

The car dealer/mechanic was shot and killed on Monday April 25, 2022 at Tema Community 22, after he was lured and trapped under the pretext of buying a Rav-4 vehicle, which was entrusted to him by his senior brother to sell. Exactly a week after the heinous crime, the police have arrested the suspects, as promised by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, after the crime was committed.

The Chronicle gathered that on Monday May 2, 2022 crack detectives from the elite unit in a high-tech intelligence operation landed at Amasaman for the onslaught. Somewhere near the local China Mall was the rendezvous in anticipation of yet to be planned another deadly robbery.

At the scheduled time, the trio landed in readiness, only for them to be contained by a squad of well trained and armed men from the Anti-Armed Robbery Unit.

During the preliminary investigation, suspect Michael Tetteh lied when he mentioned his name as James Osei, but was later compelled to come out with his real name. The supposed Doctor Essel’s modus operandi was to dress very well, chatter a taxi and move around town to pick contacts of cars advertising FOR SALE on them, as his next target.

On Friday April 22, 2022 he placed a call to one Felix Tetteh Batcha, whose telephone number was on a car meant for sale, but upon further discussion he expressed interest in a Rav-4. He directed that his junior brother should proceed with the car to the Community 22 Polyclinic, where he ‘practices’ as a medical doctor.

After back and forth from the offices of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Tema, he claimed that he was busy at the theatre performing surgery, hence delegated another man he made to accompany the errand person to test drive the vehicle.

At an obscure corner in the community, he came out pretended he was making enquiry from a nearby house on the phone.

At this juncture, the errand boy, Larweh and another, suspected foul play and consequently removed the ignition key, but before they could start the engine to move the car, a motor cycle carrying two men zoomed in and demanded they be given the car key, which he (Larweh) refused.

Larweh threw the key into the bush and Latif reportedly shot him in the neck, leading to his death.

Information available to The Chronicle indicates that Benjamin Essel has been on police radar for crimes he severally committed.

Police sources reported that he has been sentenced to five years in absentia by the Adenta Circuit Court, in connection with a car robbery. The Airport District Police have also obtained a bench warrant for his arrest on a similar charge of robbery.

The Auto Theft Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters was also looking for him for the robbery that rocked Kibi in June last year.

Meanwhile, a locally manufactured gun that the suspects used to allegedly kill James Larweh has been retrieved by the police.


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