A dismissed soldier and policeman, as well as a trader, have been remanded into lawful custody for allegedly accosting and robbing customers of financial institutions, particularly those who had gone to withdraw huge sums of monies.
Isaac Amejor and Michael Baffour, alias Mike, were dismissed from the Ghana Army Forces and Ghana Police Service respectively. Muntakilu Saddick, who used to be a trader at Kantamanto in Accra, abandoned his business to form a syndicate with the dismissed personnel of the two state security agencies.
The accused persons are being tried by an Accra Circuit Court in two different cases, all of which involved conspiracy to commit a crime, namely robbery, and robbery.
The other charges were restriction on use of military uniforms and equipment, and impersonation to commit crime, namely robbery.
Amejor, Baffour and Muntakilu have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded in both cases by the court, presided over by Her Honour Evelyn Asamoah, last week Friday, March 28, 2023.
Isaac Amejor and Michael Baffour, alias Mike, were expelled from the security agencies in 2014.
Michael resides at Ngleshie Amanfrom, Isaac lives at Kasoa, and Muntakilu Asamankese in the Eastern Region.
They allegedly robbed their victims at Ashaley-Botwe School Junction and Dansoman, all suburb of Accra, between March 2 and 22 this year.
Narrating the first leg of the case to the court, the prosecuting officer, DSP Evans Kesse, said the trio, after becoming friends, decided to form a syndicate that would constantly engage in robbery activities, targeted at innocent citizens and other persons who visited various financial institutions to transact business, especially withdrawals.
He added that as part of their scheme, they hired taxis to take them around to monitor the clients who patronise various banks, and after identifying a potential victim, would launch their attack.
They achieved this with Muntakilu Saddick, who posed as a detective wearing mufti, entered banking halls to monitor the activities, and would then communicate the physical identity of their potential victim to his accomplices, who had strategically position themselves.
Isaac Amejor, in full police apparel, would get down from the taxi and inform their victim that he or she was under arrest.
Michael Baffour, also dressed in an army uniform, would join Isaac to effect the arrest of the victim and force the person into the hired taxi cab to create the impression that they were, indeed, employees of the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Army.
They would then order the driver to move and follow their direction.
DSP Kesse said with this modus operandi, the accused persons robbed several people off the monies in their possession, and pushed them out of the car along the way, after which they shared the booty.
Deployment of the robbery scheme
Laying the foundation of how the accused persons operated, the prosecutor indicated that on Wednesday, March 22, they met at Kasoa toll booth and hired a taxi to convey them to Dansoman to engage robberies on clients of targeted financial institutions.
The accused persons started assessing various banks from Bortianor with the intent of chancing upon prospective victims to launch their objectives.
The trio found themselves in and around the premises of one of the banks in Dansoman for their scheme, and eventually settled on robbing a victim, Priscilla Quansah, a mobile money vendor who went to the said bank at Sahara-Dansoman to withdraw money.
Muntakilu Saddick disguised himself and entered the banking hall to spy on potential victims. Lo and behold, he spotted the mobile money vendor, who had withdrawn cash in the sum of GH¢4,000.00 from the merchant mobile phone she was using to work.
Saddick quickly called his accomplices, who were in a taxi parked on a street beside the bank, and described the victim’s attire and features to them.
He quickly moved out and joined his accomplices. Isaac Amejor came out of the car and stopped the victim, who was on her way to her business center, and informed her that she had been reported to them by her employer for engaging in an unspecified crime, hence, she was under arrest.
Isaac forced Priscilla into the back seat of the car, where she sat between the accused persons in police and military uniforms respectively.
Michael immediately sought to know how much she withdrew, and the victim mentioned GH¢4,000.00.
The accused persons ordered the driver to move the car and he acted as instructed. Michael Baffour instructed the driver on the routes to use until they got to the entrance of a house where he was ordered to stop the car.
Michael got down and ordered the victim to leave her bag containing the money, together with an initial amount of GH¢950.00 and two cellular phones in her ladies bag, to enable him lead her to their boss, one Mr. Appiah, in the house where the car had stopped.
The victim tried to resist but was forced out of the car and the bag forcibly snatched from her hand and kept in the car, whilst Michael purportedly led her into the house.
Michael Baffour quickly abandoned the victim and runed back to join the others in the car, and ordered the driver to speed off. The three robbers paid the driver GH¢410.00 and shared the rest of the money.
Mutakilu Saddick was given the android cellular phone of the victim as it was his turn to have it, since his accomplices had benefited from previous phones realised from their robbery expeditions.
The accused persons collected the contact number of the driver and assured him that they would always work with him.
Mutakilu Saddick called the driver on Thursday, 23 March, 2023, to convey them to Tema, where they had planned to extend their robberies on unsuspecting victims they would chance upon at any financial institution.
The prosecutor added that Isaac and Michael, as usual, dressed in their police and military attires, whilst their accomplice, Mutakilu Saddick, wore mufti.
However, he said, the surveillance team of the Ghana Police Service, which had earlier picked intelligence on the activities of the accused persons, had started monitoring their movement from the Kasoa toll booth area.
He said the police pursued them and eventually apprehended them on a section of the Accra-Tema Motorway, adding that the accused persons were identified by a victim before being arraigned before the court.
The other case
ASP Emmanuel Haliga further stated that the complainant was Shirley Asafo Agyei, a nurse.
According to him, on March 2, the complainant withdrew an amount of GH¢40,700.00 from a bank branch at Adjiriganor to be used for a housing project.
He told the court that the complainant after the transaction at the bank boarded a commercial vehicle heading towards Ashaley-Botwe School junction, and on reaching a section of the road near Ability Microfinance, the accused persons and another, at large, in a taxi crossed the commercial vehicle and dragged the complainant out.
ASP Haliga said then Isaac, who was in a police uniform, forced the complainant into their taxi and drove her to a spot near the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
When the complainant started shouting for help, the accused persons threatened to kill her if she did not keep quiet.
The complainant was then handcuffed, tasered, and her bag containing cash in the sum of GH¢40,700.00 and an iPhone 11 pro max valued at GH¢9,500.00 was seized.
The accused persons, after robbing the complainant, abandoned her in the bush handcuffed and sped off.
The complainant managed to find her way to the roadside where some coconut sellers around took her to the Legon Police Station, where she made an initial report and the handcuffs opened for her.
On March 14, 2023, the complainant petitioned the Director General of CID for assistance, and on March 26, the accused persons were arrested at their hideout on the Tema Motorway.
A search conducted on them revealed one military uniform and police uniform belonging to Michael and Isaac respectively.
ASP Haliga added that on April 14, an identification parade was conducted at the forecourt of the CID Headquarters, where the complainant identified the trio as the persons who robbed her.
He said the accused persons admitted in their caution statement in the presence of an independent witness that they robbed the complainant and shared the booty.
After investigations, the accused persons were charged and arraigned before the court.