Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that one of the four suspects arrested in connection with the daylight robbery at Bogoso in the Western Region last Sunday is dead.
The robbery operation led to the shooting and killing of Lance Corporal Nicholas Duku, who was attached to the Tarkwa Divisional Command.
According to reports, Fredrick Mensah alias Koby or Nana One, 32, was shot dead by the police when he attempted to escape from police cells yesterday morning.
However, when contacted by DAILY GUIDE, the Tarkwa-Nsuaem police crime officer, Supt. Kwabena Otu Gyabeng, explained the circumstances under which Frederick Mensah died.
He said that the suspect was on ‘enquiries’ with the police investigators and in the process, he tried to escape.
He said when all efforts to arrest him failed, the police had no option but to pull the trigger.
The crime officer said the suspect was then captured and sent to the Tarkwa Government Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead later.
Later, DSP Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, Western Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), who also confirmed the death of the suspect, said that Fredrick Mensah was shot when he tried to escape as he led the police to where the robbed money was hidden.
Lance Corporal Duku, who was brutally killed, was said to be escorting a huge sum of money to the premises of Plant and Plume Gold Refinery Company, based at Bogoso, when he was shot by some unidentified armed men.
Other sources also had it that officials of the gold refinery approached the Tarkwa Police and requested for police escort to enable them convey money from Bogoso to Tarkwa.
“So when they got to the premises of the gold refinery company, the robbers had already invaded the place and saw the policeman as a threat to their operation and decided to shoot and kill him,” the source indicated.
As at press time, the Tarkwa Magistrate Court had remanded into police custody the three suspects until May 22.
They were charged with conspiracy, murder and robbery.
Currently, three other suspects are in police custody for their alleged involvement in the robbery incident.
They are Mohammed Dauda, 32; Bismark Opoku also called Opambuor, 34 and Charles Kwesi, alias Yaw Laryea, 20.
Some of the suspects have described a certain Kwaku Mintah – said to be a popular gospel singer in the Tarkwa area – as the gang leader and mastermind of the deadly operation.
Apart from the three currently in police custody, another batch, believed to be six in number – including the supposed gospel singer – are allegedly at large.
According to the suspects, they came from Bogoso and Accra for the operation and that they were 10 in number.
Before his death, Fredrick Mensah told the police that he, together with Kwaku Mintah, one David and Mohamed Dauda, met five other suspects from Accra, led by a certain Nat, at a hotel at Bogoso to plan the robbery on April 29.
Mensah indicated that he and Mohamed Dauda, who lives at Bogoso, were tasked to use a Mazda Tribune 4×4 belonging to him (Dauda) and wait at the outskirts of Bogoso to pick the accomplices from Accra after the robbery.
He revealed that the Accra suspects brought a Nissan Rogue vehicle with registration number GE 411-16, which was used for the main robbery operation, and later abandoned at Opong Valley Junction, near Bogoso.
He claimed David and Kwaku Mintah, who had come from Tarkwa, used a Toyota Corolla allegedly belonging to Kwaku Mintah for ‘monitoring’ the robbery scene.
Mohamed Dauda allegedly corroborated the story of Fredrick Mensah in his statement and added that they made away with an amount of GH¢420,000 and shared it later.
He also confirmed that they were 10 in number, including one Mogabe, who was brought from Tarkwa by Fredrick Mensah.
Dauda told the police that each of them had GH¢45,000 and even said he suspected that the amount robbed could be more than what was stated and that Fredrick Mensah might have stolen an unspecified amount from the booty.
He, however, claimed that his share of the booty was with David, who is at large.
Bismark Opoku said that after the robbery, the money was transported in Kwaku Mintah’s Toyota Corolla to a bush near Huni Valley.
“And later I was called by Fredrick Mensah, who was in the vehicle, to meet them at the location to carry the money to the roadside,” he allegedly confessed, before stating that the gang from Accra used a Mazda Tribune vehicle to follow them.
Bismark Opoku claimed later he, Fredick Mensah and Charles Kwesi, alighted from the Toyota Corolla and joined a taxi, adding that they were arrested in the taxi.
The fourth suspect, Mohammed Dauda, was later arrested at Bogoso.
Bismark Opoku, however, is insisting that he was not part of the meeting at the hotel at Bogoso prior to the robbery.
The fourth suspect, Charles Kwesi, claimed that he is a friend to Bismark Opoku and that he joined his friend to meet Dauda to carry the stolen money from the bush to the roadside.
Later, Bismark Opoku took investigators to the scene where the money was hidden.
Meanwhile, two vehicles, including the Nissan Rogue, which was reportedly used by the suspects from Accra and the Mazda Tribune belonging to Mohamed Dauda are in police custody as exhibits.