The Police in Enchi in the Western Region have arrested four galamsey operators, including a Togolese, who allegedly robbed a gold dealer of his money and gold at gunpoint last Tuesday.
The police have identified the suspects as Bawah Sulley and Kofi Combart (both 32), farmers and ‘galamseyers’ from Garu Tempani in the Northern Region.
The rest are Awudu Bashiru (35), a Togolese and ‘galamseyer’ and Emmanuel Essuman (25), a gold buyer based at Gomoa Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
The Enchi District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Mr Raymond Kofi Erzuah, told the Daily Graphic that with the clampdown on galamsey, the operators had devised ways of deceiving prospective and unsuspecting gold buyers into galamsey areas to buy the gold they had in their possession.
After their victims had bought gold, the district commander said, the galamsey operators then mobilised their men to lay ambush with guns and rob the buyers of their belongings.
According to Supt Erzuah, the police retrieved two pump action guns, 33 pieces of live AA and BB cartridges, one double-barrelled locally made pistol and one SB Baikal shotgun from the suspects.
Also in their possession was gold valued at GH¢1,025 and cash of GH¢14,660 belonging to a gold dealer they had robbed.
The district commander said the gold dealer (name withheld) reported to the police that two men had robbed him at gunpoint on his way to Abokyia, near Enchi.
He said the victim initially went to the community and bought GH¢5,000 worth of real quality gold and was later contacted that they still had more for sale.
The victim said Bashiru planned with the other suspects to rob him and urged his accomplices to lead the way, since he (buyer) knew him.
Supt. Erzuah said Bashiru picked his victim (the gold buyer) on a motorbike with registration number M-5434-16.
The victim, who had been to the community before, drew the attention of Bashiru and the rider that they had taken the wrong turn, but he gave an excuse.
Upon reaching Bawah Farms Cottage, near Kwahu in Enchi, the other accomplices appeared in mask, attacked and took away the money and the gold.
The district police commander said preliminary investigations revealed that Bashiru had planned the onslaught with the other two. Upon that intelligence, the police swooped on his house in the night and discovered the stolen items, including the arms and ammunition.
The police said the four suspects had confessed to the robbery.