Editorial: Lapaz gold robbery: police can’t be blamed for any wrongdoing
We reported yesterday that investigations into the alleged robbery of a Burkinabe national by occupants of a police vehicle have hit the cul-de-sac, following the uncooperative attitude of the complainant. The principal witness in the case, Suleman Sodre, the Burkinabe, The Chronicle gathered, has blatantly refused to come down to assist the Ghana police to get to the bottom of the case.
On Sunday, February 7, 2021 Sodre reportedly went to sell three kilos of gold to a certain Alhaji Abdul. On his way back to Classic Guest House at Lapaz, where he was lodging, in an Uber, occupants of a police vehicle with registration number GP 3513 stopped them and demanded why one of them was not wearing a nose mask. The occupants of the police vehicle allegedly robbed them of $209,172.00 being the proceeds from the gold sale.
A report was made at the Tesano Police Station and the case referred to the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters. In the course of the investigation, the police arrested the junior officer in charge of the police vehicle to assist in investigating the case. The Chronicle is not privy to the details of the said interrogation of the junior officer.
We, however, gathered from independent sources that the police vehicle allegedly used in the robbery was last serviced at the Police Service Workshop on January 11, 2021 and was released back to him (the said junior officer) the same day.
The Chronicle has religiously been following the story because of the accusation from the reading public that the media always fails to make follow-ups after they have broken a story. Though the police investigation into the daylight robbery has not been completed, The Chronicle commends the security agency for the speedy manner it is conducting the investigation.
Our investigation so far points to a diligent work being done by the police to unravel the mystery surrounding the daylight robbery. The Chronicle is, however, surprised that someone who claims he has been robbed of a whopping $209,000 by police personnel will now be dragging his feet in assisting the investigators to get his money for him.
As we speculated in our story yesterday, can it be possible that the police officer in charge of the vehicle might have acted negligently, resulting in the use of his vehicle to commit a crime without his knowledge?
Again, were those who used the vehicle to commit the alleged crime police personnel or criminals who used police uniforms to hide their true identity?
Unfortunately, the refusal of the principal witness in the case to assist the security agency is thwarting the efforts of the police to get to the bottom of the matter.
In our view, the police cannot be blamed for failing to probe the case because it involves one of their own. But to save the image of the Police Service, we suggest that the investigators use Interpol to bring down the complainant in the case from Burkina Faso to come and assist with investigation.
It is possible that the robbery was the handiwork of a syndicate, but this can only be confirmed when the complainant volunteers to assist.