Bullion van robbers sentenced to 4 years imprisonment
Two persons who stole GH¢ 1,020,500 from a bullion van in 2017, have been sentenced to four years imprisonment each by an Accra Circuit Court.
Bismark Abem, a Cash in Transit (CIT) Officer, and Eric Larbi, a driver, were found guilty on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit stealing and stealing.
Sampson Atuah, a dispatch rider, was however discharged by the court.
The court presided over by Mrs. Justice Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye, a High Court Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as Circuit Court Judge, sentenced them to two years imprisonment each on the charge of conspiracy to commit crime, to wit stealing.
On the charge of stealing, the court sentenced them to four years imprisonment each, and the sentences were to run concurrently.
The convicts, who were transporting GH¢ 1,020,500 cash on behalf of Standard Chartered Bank, at Tema Main Harbour branch, to its head office at High Street, in Accra, diverted the van to Airport Hills, Accra, and shared the money.
Out of the GH¢ 1,020,500 stolen, GH¢ 889,500 was retrieved from the two convicts by the police and the difference of GH¢ 131,000 was to be recovered.
Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah said that the complainant, Jonathan Otuei, is the security coordinator of Gocrest Services, in Accra.
The court heard that on February 7, 2017, Abem and Larbi assigned by the Gocrest Services to evacuate GH¢ 1,020,500 on behalf of Standard Chartered Bank at Tema Main harbour branch to its head office at High Street in Accra.
Chief Insp Haligah said Abem and Larbi, who were conveying the money in a Toyota Hilux Van with registration number GE 2745-13, abandoned the vehicle after stealing the money, and kept in “Ghana Must Go” Bags and bolted.
Prosecution said Abem’s cellphone was called by the complainant to find out where the convicts were, but the phone was off.
The court heard that the complainant spoke to Abem on Larbi’s Phone and asked him where they had reached.
According to Chief Insp Haligah, Abem told him (complainant) they were heading towards Accra High Court Area, but Abem and Larbi never went to the bank’s head office.
Prosecution said a complainant was lodged at the Accra Central Police Station, and Abem on the same day took his booty to Accra Central Police Barracks where his sister lived with her husband, a police inspector, and showed the money to them.
Insp Haligah said the police inspector took the money and Abem to the Accra Central Police Station and handed over Abem and the money to the police.
Prosecution said Larbi and Atuah kept part of the money and presented GHS285,000.00 to the police.
Insp Haligah said the convicts admitted the offences in their caution statements, but Atuah denied the offence in his caution statement.