An Accra Circuit Court is trying an errand boy, Abdullatif Azzam Ghamrawi, who allegedly stole 59 vehicles and cars, as well as other variables belonging to Auto Plaza.
Abdullatif is said to have stolen the vehicles, cars, mechanical engineering tools and furniture from Fafia Auto Limited, a place where Auto Plaza had sent them for safekeeping.
However, the accused pleaded not guilty after been slapped with one count of unlawful entry, three counts of stealing and threat of death.
The court, presided over by His Honour Joojo Amoah Hegan, admitted the accused to a bail in the sum of GH¢2.5 million with two sureties, justified by landed property, with title deeds and registered.
The sureties are to deposit their passports pictures at the registry of the court.
Abdullatif was further ordered to deposit the original copy of his passport at the court registry.
The prosecuting Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Haligah to consider the gravity of the crime when admitting the accused to bail.
ASP Haligah said while the prosecution would not oppose the granting of bail, “however, it averred to draw the minds of the court to the fact that there is nothing on record, indicating that the accused is a Ghanaian national.”
ASP Haligah also reiterated that the court should consider the gravity of the crime, the amount involved, as well as the evidence supporting the facts.
Details of the case
Briefing the court, ASP Haligah said Mavis Opoku Kani, a Credit Control Manager of Auto Plaza, is the complainant in the case.
The prosecutor said the accused, who now claims he is a businessman and resides at North Kaneshie, used to be an errand boy of the Late Mohammed Hijazi, Chairman of Auto Plaza, as well as Managing Director of Fafia Auto limited, located at Agbogbloshie in Accra.
According to him, somewhere in 2015, Auto Plaza sent 59 Vehicles and cars to the precinct of Fafia Auto limited for safe keeping.
He added that around the same period, Mohammed Hijazi fell sick and died on June 17, 2022.
However, the court was told that, weeks after Mr Hijazi demise, the accused forcibly broke into the yard of Fafia Auto Limited and with the aid of some heavily built men, drove away all of the workers and took possession of the place.
The accused later lifted some of the cars parked in the yard to unknown destination and also broke into the shops and made away with some workshop items and furniture.
ASP Haligah told the court that most of the vehicles and cars stolen were Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai i10, Hyundai Accent, Mitsubishi Grandis and Atos.
He added that majority of the automobiles were registered and others are not and they are valued between US$2,000 and US$19,000 all totaling US$115,850.00 equivalent to GH¢1,621,900.00.
The accused also made away with diagnosing machines, empty tool boxes, Totem (Renault), pressing machine, wheel balancer, Dollars, Three ton Car Jacks, Six ton Car Jack, One ton Car Jack, a set of broken down vehicle lift worth US 22,990.00 and two Renault picture frames, all totaling US$41,033.19 equivalent to GH¢574,464.66.
Similarly, the accused also stole a sofa set, four side tables, centre table, three flower vases with flowers, five offices shelves, 12 steel cabinet, five wooden cabinets, six office desk, 11 Swivel Chairs, executive Table/Chair worth, Two TV Stands, 10 window blinds, 12 metal shelves, 12 desk trays, five medium size carpet, three small size carpets, 10 spec boards, and four old AC outdoor units, all totaling GH¢44, 745.00.
ASP Haligah said all these properties of Auto Plaza were stolen in a day, thus May 26, 2022.
As a result, he said when the management of Auto Plaza got wind of the crime proceeded to the place to verify the issue for themselves.
The prosecutor added the current Chief Executive Officer of Auto Plaza, Jihad Hijazi went to the scene in the company of other but were accosted by the accused.
ASP Haligah stated that in the ensuing melee, the accused fired twice at them with a pistol but missed target.
He added that the complainant with the aid of some witnesses in the case picked two expended ammunition shell at the scene and handed over the same to the police.
ASP Haligah told the court that the complainant petitioned the Director General of CID, and the accused was arrested.
The accused later led the police to his office within the Fafia Auto Limited building and 380 ACP CAL TALON Pistol was retrieved after a search.
He informed the court that the two empty shells and the pistol had been forwarded to the Police Forensic Laboratory for ballistic examination and result.
ASP Haligah added that after investigation the accused was charged with the offences.
The next hearing is May 27, 2023.