Three men, aged between 23 and 26, have been sentenced to 180 years in prison with hard labour after pleading guilty for armed robbery.

Koforidua Circuit Court A, presided over by Mrs Janet Anima Maafo, pronounced the sentence last Friday.
The convicts – Kwame Asare, a.k.a. Boys Abre, 24 years; Kofi Yakubu, a.k.a. Kobra 23; and Samuel Baafi Apiah, a.k.a. Oscar, 26 – who are all traders, resided at Asuboi near Suhum, Koforidua Zongo, and Amanase near Suhum, respectively.

The men pleaded guilty and begged for leniency for two counts of crimes involving conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery, to run concurrently in two different cases.

In the first case, the presiding judge, Her Honour Mrs Janet Anima Maafo gave them a 40-year prison sentence each with hard labour and ordered them to pay for the items they stole.

The items are a Toyota Camry vehicle valued at GH¢66,000, an iPhone worth GH¢2,200, an HP laptop and an apple beat speaker worth GH¢2,500 and GH¢1,000, respectively.

In the second case presided over by the latter judge, they were given another 20-year prison sentence each with hard labour and a fine to the tune of GH¢5,000, being the cost of an HP laptop and a mobile phone they stole.

Background

The convicts, according to the Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Deputy Superintendant of Police (DSP) Ebenezer Tette, have been under the surveillance of the Eastern Regional Police Command for terrorising residents in the New Juabeng municipality.

On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, between the hours of 11pm and 12 midnight the police municipal patrol team spotted three masked men in an ash Toyota Corolla without a number plate around the Bula Spot area at Old Estates. The team suspected that the persons in the car might be up to some mischief, and therefore pursued them. While escaping, the suspects crashed the vehicle, abandon it and escaped on foot after evading the police.

According to the Police PRO, one Mr Salifu Labaran reported to the Koforidua Central Police Station the following day that three masked men armed with machetes and pump action guns had attacked him at Old Estates that Tuesday night. They took his mobile phones, money, seized his unregistered Toyota Camry vehicle and locked him inside the trunk.

The robbers drove to the St. James Hotel area and ditched him in the bush, and escaped with his vehicle. Speaking to the paper, residents of the area claimed to have heard gunshots around the same time the incident occurred. The police explained that those shots were fired by the criminals to perhaps scare away people who may have had intentions of helping the kidnapped victim.

Three days earlier, on Saturday January 13, three armed thugs, believed to be Boys Abre and his gang, invaded the house of a medical doctor at Osabene, a suburb of Koforidua, at about 9:30pm and made away with his Nissan saloon car, his flat-screen TV and mobile phones.

The arrest

They were arrested on Monday, February 5, 2018 when a complainant, name withheld, decided to drop a female friend at Mile 50, Koforidua, at about 9:45pm.

The three masked thugs attacked him with a pump action gun and machetes and took his Toyota Corolla with DV No. 9009-17, valued at GH¢50,000, two Samsung phones valued at GH¢3,000 and one HP laptop also valued at GH¢2,000. They then locked him in the trunk of his car and sped off. He, however, managed to escape from the moving vehicle around Koforidua Technical University, and reported the incident to the police.

On Wednesday, Kwame Asare and Kofi Yakubu were trailed and apprehended at Suhum upon intelligence by the Suhum Police Command. Kwame Asare was caught in possession of one of the stolen phones, according to police, and further investigations led to the arrest of the third culprit, Samuel Baafi Apiah. The three appeared at the circuit court for the first time on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Source: David A. BARTELS || The Finder, Koforidua

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