Anti-armed robbery squad, robbers in shootout

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    A group of gun-wielding men exchanged gunshots with the special anti-armed robbery squad deployed to the Eastern Regional Police Command.

    The robbers shot at the bus carrying the policemen on the Ettukrom to Bunso Junction road in the Akyem Abuakwa North municipality.

    The armed men, suspected to be armed robbers, shot into the windshield of the bus which was heading from Osiem to Bunso for deployment in the area, prompting a counter fire from service men around 10:30 p.m. last Monday.

    Incident

    Speaking to the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Eastern Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ebenezer Tetteh, said the armed men were on the road with the intention to rob moving vehicles before they encountered the police vehicle.

    “The suspected armed robbers attempted to rob commuters on the said road and ended up shooting into the windshield of the police bus which was moving from Osiem towards Bunso. The police on board the bus also returned fire as a result,” he said.

    DSP Tetteh said the suspected robbers dashed into the bush and escaped.

    He said a search conducted by the police found no suspect and no trace of blood to indicate that any of the suspects were injured, although five spent shells of AK 47 rifle and one live round were found at the scene.

    DSP Tetteh added that enquiry extended to nearby health centres revealed that no one reported with gunshot wounds.

    Arrest

    DSP Tetteh indicated that no arrest had so far been made, but community members had been tasked to report any suspicion to the police for action.

    He appealed to commuters and community members to be very vigilant in the area, and volunteer information to the police to assist with investigation.

    Observation

    Observation made by the Daily Graphic revealed that the Osiem to Bunso Junction road has in recent times become a notorious spot for highway robbery.

    In June this year, a trader on board a tomato truck from Ashaiman heading to Begoro was robbed and shot dead by two suspected armed robbers at Osiem. The robbers were later arrested and identified by surviving victims following a joint search by the police and the community folk.

    The streetlights on that stretch have perennially been non-functional, making it a haven for notorious highway robbers.

    Background

    The Ghana Police Service last Monday deployed its special Anti-Armed Robbery Squad (AARS) to the Eastern and Bono East regions to clamp down on the increasing activities of armed robbers in those regions.

    The AARS special force is to boost the capabilities of the two regional commands to ruthlessly fight robbery and other violent crime on highways.

    The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, deployed 227 policemen and senior officers, including 126 personnel, for the Eastern Region, with 101 personnel headed for the Bono East Region.

    The team for the Eastern Region is led by the Director General, Administration, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohonu, and assisted by the Director General of Operations, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Mohammed Fuseini Suraji.

    The team for the Bono East Region is led by the Director General in charge of Information Communications Technology (ICT), Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Edward Tabiri.