Five cops who allegedly extorted GH¢40, 000 in two separate operations have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery and bribery at an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused are Lance Corporal Redeemer Gameli and four other Constables, Wishwell Odoo, Evans Amwagsi, Lawat Agyapong and Sena Kuvordo.
They have all pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery, conspiracy to robbery and conspiracy to commit crime (bribe).
Counsel for the accused persons, Yaw Dankwa and Andrew Kudzo Vortia, reiterated the plea for bail at the Accra Circuit Court presided by Rosemond Torsu.
They argued that their clients were not likely to leave the country before a trial, and they also had good standing family members who are ready to stand as sureties for them.
Having listened to their plea, the judge granted them bail in the sum of GH¢ 80,000, with three sureties following a bail application by their lawyer.
As part of the bail conditions, two of the sureties must be public servants earning not less than GH¢ 2,000 a month.
The officers are to reappear on July 13 for continuation.
How the alleged extortion happened
The complainant, Jeffrey Mackeon Yeboah, is a student/businessman who lives at Ashaley Botwe, whereas the accused persons are serving police officers.
The cops are stationed at the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) at the National Police Headquarters in Accra, where they usually perform vehicular patrol duties.
On May 25, 2021, at about 2:00 am, the complainant was on board an Uber Taxi around the UPSA area when the accused persons who were in an Operation Calm Life police vehicle with arms arrested and forcibly removed the complainant from the Uber Taxi into the police patrol vehicle.
The accused persons are said to have falsely accused the victim of being a scammer.
Per investigations, they threatened to harm the victim and asked him to hand over every penny on him.
They then seized the victim’s phone when he was in the police vehicle as they drove with him from Madina to Awudome Cemetery that same night.
According to the prosecution, they again threatened to harm the victim should he fail to hand over an amount of GHC20,000.
To make do with their threat, they pointed a gun at him and asked that he transferred cash from his bank account through online banking into their mobile money account.
The accused persons continued to hold the victim hostage in the police patrol vehicle. When they got to the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange area, they met another accomplice who was in mufti.
The prosecution said their accomplice now joined them in the police patrol vehicle, and they ordered the victim to transfer cash of GHC 20,000 from his bank account to mobile money account number 0558756449.
The frightened victim transferred GHC 20, 000 from his Ecobank account amidst the threat of harm.
Having robbed the victim of his money, the accused persons deleted the transaction records on his phone.
They stopped a taxi, forced him into it and asked the driver to move without looking back.
The victim reported to police at the Kaneshie District, and investigations led to the arrest of the five police officers.
A cash exhibit of GHC20,000 was retrieved from the suspects.
After the arrest of the accused persons, they bribed the investigator with a cash sum of GHC 2,500 to cover them up in the case, and the same was retained as an exhibit.
Meanwhile, efforts are being made to arrest their civilian accomplice, whose mobile money account was used to facilitate the crime.
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