June 23, 2024
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7 Times Police Officers Have Been Attacked In Bullion Van Robberies

In the past years, there has been a number of robberies across the country which targeted bullion vans transiting cash. Among them was the robbery at Adedenkpo near James Town in Accra in which one police officer on board was shot dead. An onlooker was also shot dead.

The latest robbery attack which took place at Ablekuma Fanmilk has claimed the life of another police officer.

In this article, the Ghana Report recounts some cases of bullion van attacks by armed robbers which have claimed the lives of some policemen in the country.

Police Shot And Killed By Armed Robbers In Bullion Van Attack At Ablekuma

A gang of four armed robbers attacked a bullion van and killed the police escort at Ablekuma Fanmilk on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

The robbers pounced on a bullion van that had made a stop at a fuel station during the day and shot the police several times at point-blank range.

Even though the bullion van driver escaped unharmed, the officer died on the spot.

Details of the robbery are scanty, but the Ghana Police Service has confirmed in a statement that the police officer involved “has unfortunately passed on”.

Consequently, the law enforcement agency has launched an investigation to bring the perpetrators to book.

“We wish to assure the public that we will surely get the robbers arrested to face justice,” the release said, adding, “Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of our deceased colleague in particular and all personnel of the Police Service in general.”

James Town Bullion Van Robbery

Police Constable Emmanuel Osei was shot in the head on Monday, June 14, 2021, after eight robbers attacked a MON TRAN bullion van at Adedenkpo, a suburb of James Town in Accra.

According to the police, preliminary investigation showed that unidentified armed men on a number of motorbikes crossed the bullion van, which was on a pay/collection errand at about 1100 hours and shot at the police officer who was on escort duty on the van, killing him instantly.

The armed men also fired sporadically in the air and on the driver, who sustained gunshot wounds.

A hawker was also killed by the armed men when one of two ladies on the bullion van stepped out of the van and ran in the deceased seller’s direction.

Both ladies on the van, tellers of MON TRAN, escaped unhurt but were sent to the hospital to be treated for trauma.

Robbers Engage In Gun Battle With Cops In Bullion Van Attack

Armed robbers attacked a bullion van at Gomoa Okyereko on the Kasoa – Winneba road in the Central Region on Thursday, June 17, 2021, barely a week after a similar incident resulted in two deaths at Jamestown.

Reports indicated that the robbers fired several rounds in the direction of the front seat of the vehicle with registration number GN 6956-17.

The bullion van, which had a policeman as an escort, refused to stop.

The cop immediately called for backup as the bullets rained in his direction on a sunny afternoon.

A team from the Winneba Police Station was quickly dispatched to the scene but the robbers were not perturbed.

Rather, the six-man gang exchanged fire with the police for several minutes before they fled in the direction of a nearby bush.

No one was injured and the money in the bullion van remained intact.

Fomena bullion van attack

A police officer guarding a bullion van was killed by armed robbers on the Adansi Fomena road in the Ashanti Region.

The police officer, identified as Lance Corporal Martin Babah, died on the spot after he was shot by the robbers numbering about 10.

The unfortunate incident occurred at about 10:30 on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The Officer was reportedly policing Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Bullion Van conveying money from Dunkwa in the Central region to Fomena.

The robbers took away an amount of Ghc500,000 in the Bullion Van and an AK47 rifle loaded with ammunition which was in the possession of the deceased police officer.

Three other passengers including a driver and two staff of the bank who sustained injuries were rushed to the Obuasi AGA hospital for medical care.

The bullion Van with registration number GT 543-19 which was conveying the money and the GCB staff was moved to the Fomena district police command.

Bullion van attacked at Baatsonaa

On March 1, 2021, a bullion van was robbed on the Spintex Road at Baatsona near the Danpong Hospital by some armed men numbering about four.

The driver of the bullion van and one official from the bank escaped while the escorting police officer was assaulted by the robbers.

The robbers broke into the van and escaped with the money.

Eyewitnesses’ account was that at about 3:30 pm, the bullion van was seen coming from Danpong Hospital direction ahead of a black Toyota Camry towards the main Addogonno road linking Baatsonaa and Nungua.

Just opposite the Harvest Academy, the black Camry overtook the bullion van and abruptly stopped. One of the occupants quickly came down and gave a warning shot into the air and quickly, the driver of the bullion van and one other got down and escaped through the school leaving only the Police Officer in the car.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the Policeman was ordered out of the bullion van by the robbers who numbered four. They assaulted him with a mallet and again ordered him to lie down on the road. They disarmed him and took away his Service rifle.

The robbers used the mallet to damage both the padlock and the second lock on the bullion and packed the money and escaped with it in the waiting black Camry.

A shot taken by an eyewitness shows that the registration number of the black Camry which police believe to be fake was GX 6337-14.

The driver of the Bullion van, a staff of CAL Bank, Baatsona Branch, one Ebo Amissah appeared later on the scene with other officials from the bank.

According to the driver, at about 3:30 pm, he was from Paa Nii Agency, dealers of building materials accompanied by a colleague CAL Bank personnel named Elijah Asante and the policeman identified as Evans Baafi of Sakumono Police Station with the cash when they were suddenly overtaken by the robbers and got them robbed.

Besides the cash the amount of which is unspecified, one Samsung tablet and two CAL Bank cheques from Paa Nii Agency with face values of Ghc17,000 and Ghc50,000 each were also taken by the robbers.

Bullion van containing GH¢600,000 Absa Bank cash attacked at Techiman

Armed robbers on Friday, May 8, 2020, attacked a bullion van at Mmaampehia, near Techiman in the Bono East Region, taking away over GH¢600,000.

The police later retrieved GH¢234,000 of the amount, which was being transported to an undisclosed destination by the Absa Bank.

The armed men also made away with an AK 47 rifle and 19 rounds of ammunition they seized from a policeman on board the bullion van.

The Bono East Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Djan Kyere, who confirmed the incident said the robbers, armed with guns, attacked the van at about 5.30 p.m., wounding the driver and the policeman on board before fleeing with the booty.

On the van, with registration number GT 3181-W, were the driver, identified as Frank Agyeman, Lance Corporal Yussif Abubakar, and an official of the bank, Sampson Kofi Sarfo.

According to him, the robbers left behind GH¢39,000 in the van, while GH¢195,000 was retrieved when the vehicle used by the robbers was intercepted at Akomadan in the Ashanti Region.

Mr Kyere explained that after attacking the vehicle and making away with the money, the robbers sped off and later parked their saloon car in front of an uncompleted gari processing factory at Akomadan to share their booty.

He said while they were sharing the money, they were spotted by a police guard, who called for reinforcement for their arrest.

He said when the police reinforcement arrived, the robbers had run away, leaving behind the saloon car they had used for the robbery.

During a search of the car, the police found GH¢195,000, a 3G rifle, and a pump action gun.

The robbers, however, went away with the AK 47 rifle they had seized from L/Cpl Abubakar and the gun they had used in their operation.

DCOP Kyere said somebody showed up to claim ownership of the vehicle used by the robbers and he was arrested for interrogation.

Sargent Emmanuel Chikudoh was shot dead

On December 3, 2019, a police officer died after a bullion van he was escorting was attacked by some armed men.

The deceased, Sergeant Emmanuel Chikudoh, was part of a team escorting an ADB bullion van to Essam in the Western Region when the incident occurred.

The police said they received a call from the Acting Manager of the ADB bank at Sefwi Wiawso that their van, with registration number GT 9436-17 Nissan, had come under attack on the outskirts of 290 community near Asempaneye.

Police immediately proceeded to the scene and noticed that the deceased had sustained gunshot wounds on the head. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Police reports said other occupants of the vehicle managed to escape unhurt and the deceased’s rifle was recovered by the police.

What is the way forward?

Following these reoccurrences, a security analyst, Adam Bona, advised the Ghana Police Service and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to end the practice of using police officers to escort bullion vans.

“Why should police officers in the 21st century be escorting money? This was done in the 18th and 19th centuries. No serious country does that. You don’t use state resources to be transporting money.

“Technology has made it possible to use armored-fit-for-purpose bullion vans and these bullion vans usually have what is called money shredders. And so if you attack a bullion van, that was in motion carrying money, what happens is that these bullion vans ignite a chemicalized component that spills over this money and a chunk of this money gets shredded,” he said.

Story By Sandra Adei Djanie

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