Immigration Officer Leads Robbery Gang

The police have arrested an Immigration Officer, Felix Ntoah, said to be the leader of an armed robbery gang which robbed illegal gold miners in some parts of Ashanti Region. Ntoah, stationed at Baglu in the Volta Region, was arrested on August 16, when he led a two-man gang to rob some Chinese �galamsey� operators at Fahiakobo, near Jacobu in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti of GH�300 and other valuables, including gold quartz. This brings to nine, the number of security personnel arrested by the Ashanti Regional Police Command. The others are three policemen and five soldiers who teamed up with civilians to rob illegal gold miners, popularly called �galamsey� operators. They were named as Constable Murtala Musah with the Buffalo Unit in Kumasi; Bismark Ntow attached to the Zongo Police Station, Kumasi; Stephen Nsor, a Community Police, attached to the Kumasi Central Police Station. The military personnel are Lance Corporals Farouk and Tommy, both of the Fourth Battalion of Infantry, Kumasi; Privates Ahmed Ridewan and Nasser Gideon, both of the Air-Borne Unit in Tamale, and Lance Bombadie Frimpong of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho. Their civilian counterparts are Isaac Asare, John Appiah, Solomon Opoku, Kofi Gyan, Ohene Gyan Dacosta, Kwaku Francis, Ibrahim Anas, Jonas Nyarko and Yaw Nkrumah, a taxi driver. The Regional Police Commander, Augustine Gyening, who confirmed these to the Ghanaian Times, said Ntoah�s accomplices managed to escape, leaving him behind and a search on him revealed two locally-manufactured pistols, a pair of handcuffs, GH�300 and eight live cartridges. Two other civilians, Richard Takyi and Kofi Boakye, were also arrested for allegedly shooting at some miners at the Second Page Mining Company at Abrakoso, near Jacobu, on August 14. In the company of four others who escaped, the gang shot at Young Shine, a Chinese miner, and took away some gold nuggets, GH�54,000 and mobile telephones. Young, according to Mr. Gyening, had been flown to China for treatment. He said the police had intensified their search for the suspects. Apart from the soldiers, the other security officers and their civilian counterparts have been remanded in prison custody for two weeks by a Kumasi Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Emmanuel Amo-Yartey. The soldiers are being handled by the Fourth Battalion of Infantry.