Bank staff jailed 25 years for his role in ¢600k robbery

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A Cape Coast High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye singled out a bank staff in a robbery of ¢600,000 and gave him a hefty sentence of 25 years.

Michael Fosu alias ‘Bursar’ who was a cleaner working at the Ghana Commercial Bank branch at Asikuma in the Central Region was among four persons who conspired to rob a customer of a bank and subsequently robbed the customer of an amount of ¢600,000.

Justice Kwasi Boakye, in sentencing the four persons, indicated that even though Michael’s share of the booty was the least – ¢10,000 – he decided to single him out and deal with him severely.

The judge remarked, “I take good note of the role he played in the commissioning of the robbery. For purposes of emphasis, the undisputed evidence is that Michael called one of the robbers on phone to alert him that the customer had withdrawn the money and was leaving the bank premises.”

Based on the call placed by the bank staff to his counterparts, they succeeded in the operation.

The judge described Michael’s behaviour as a danger and a threat to society.

Justice Kwasi Boakye sent a strong warning to staff of banks with such intentions to abandon them now as the courts would deal with them ruthlessly.

He further charged the security apparatus in crime-fighting in the country to direct their attention to suspicious characters within the banking sector in the wake of the recent surge in the number of robbery attacks on the banking sector.

Before sentencing them, Justice Kwasi Boakye gave the robbers the opportunity to say something.

The first robber pleaded: “If I am found guilty, I wish to plead for leniency. I am a family man of three. I am responsible for them. I have a wife. I promise the Court that it would not occur again.”

The second robber followed: “I have accepted my guilt in this trial. I am grateful for the patience the Court has had for me in this trial. I am a family man with children and a wife. I plead that I am forgiven.”

For the third stated: “Please, I have sinned. I would not do that again. I promise that it would not reoccur. I have a sick mother back home. I plead accordingly.”

Justice Kwasi Boakye sentenced three of the robbers on conspiracy to commit the crime of robbery contrary to sections 23 [1] and 149 [1] of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 [Act 29]  to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour while the bank staff was sentenced to 25 years in hard labour.

Background

The facts accompanying the charges are that Patrick Gyamerah, the manager of Nyankopa Cocoa Buying Ltd is the complainant.

The accused persons are Ibrahim Abubakar, a scrap dealer; Muniru Seidu, labourer; Sadick Abubakar, farmer and Michael Fosu, cleaner at the Breman Asikuma Commercial Bank.

On October 28, 2020, the complainant went to the Ghana Commercial Bank [GCB] at Breman Asikuma to withdraw ¢600,000 for his employer, Nyankopa Cocoa Buying Ltd.

The money was put in a sack and loaded into his vehicle with the help of Obed Mintah his Technical Officer and Eric Amissah his Accountant.

They set off with the money in the boot of his car.

The Accountant followed up on a motorcycle. A few metres to their Depot, they were stopped by two of the robbers who were wielding guns. They asked the complainant to turn off the car engine and get down from the car.

He obliged.

They asked him to open the car boot and marched him together with Eric Amissah and Obed Mintah into the nearby bush where they tied them with sellotape. The robbers took all the money from the car boot, used Eric Amissah’s motorcycle and fled from the scene.

The complainant and his colleagues managed to free themselves later and got to their workplace where they informed their officers of the incident.

Finally, they reported the matter to the police. The police immediately embarked on sustained searches for the robbers.

On October 30, 2020, the police stopped a taxi during a snap-check within Breman Asikuma.

A search in the taxi cab led to the discovery of sacks of money packed under the car seats.

All the three persons on board were arrested.

One of the robbers who were onboard the taxi told police that it was part of the money they robbed the complainant of.

Abubakar Ibrahim had ¢208,120.00 in a sack. He led police to Muniru Seidu’s house at Nsuokor village.

A search on Muniru yielded ¢54,800.

Abubakar Ibrahim then led police again to Michael Fosu, the bank cleaner’s house. A search in his room yielded ¢8,000.

Finally, Abubakar Ibrahim led police to Circle, Accra where Muniru Seidu was arrested.

Muniru took the police into the bush around Abebrese village near Assikuma where he had kept his portion of two hundred thousand Ghana Cedis [GHC200,000].

The Police investigations revealed that the accused persons and one Tommy planned to rob the complainant and that on the 26th October 2020, Michael Fosu who works as a cleaner at GCB, called Abubakar Seidu and told him that the complainant had come for money at GCB.

Abubakar Seidu who was standing at a vantage point somewhere at Breman Assikuma town monitoring the complainant’s movements relayed this information to Tommy and the rest of the accused persons.

Abubakar Ibrahim and Muniru Seidu laid in wait in the bush and attacked the complainant when he got there.

Thereafter, they met Tommy and shared the money.

Tommy gave Abubakar Seidu his share. In turn, Seidu gave the bank cleaner ten thousand Ghana Cedis [GHC10,000].

During investigations, Abubakar Ibrahim and Muniru Seidu confessed to conspiring to rob the complainant.

They explained that it was the complainant who contracted them to take the money from him as he was in debt.

Michael Fosu, the bank cleaner stated that Abubakar Seidu told him about the plan to rob the complainant but he refused to take part.

However, after the robbery, Seidu gave him ten thousand Ghana Cedis [GHC10,000] for not revealing their plan to anyone.  

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