Nineteen persons, including a female, have been picked up by the Tema Regional Police Command in connection with the daylight robbery that occurred in the metropolis last Thursday afternoon.
Four out of the total number of suspects were identified among persons who scrambled for bank notes which were flying around whilst the deadly hostilities were unfolding.
Police said the suspects would be charged with dishonestly receiving and stealing. Police said more than GH¢100,000 out of the GH¢123,000, believed to be the target of the robbers who have since been shot dead, were missing.
DAILY GUIDE sources say the police managed to retrieve only GH¢2,500 during the robbery as the entire amount was scattered when the robbers tried to escape with it.
The Crime Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, ACP Paul Frimpong, confirmed the arrests in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, and said that one of the deceased robbers had been identified, but said they were not releasing his identity for now because they were following some leads in the case.
“The fact that the suspects involved in the case are dead doesn’t mean the case is over. We are pursuing every lead and have started inviting some people, including officials of the bank,” he said.
“We are following all possible leads in our investigations to establish what happened and how it happened, and we would not leave anything to chance,” he added.
The police confirmed that two robbers were killed in a gun battle after they had attacked two businessmen who had gone to the bank to withdraw money from the Community branch of the Zenith Bank.
After the incident, the businessmen, a Ghanaian and a Lebanese, were said to have retrieved just GH¢2,500 out of the GH¢123,345 they had withdrawn from the bank.
Information available to DAILY GUIDE indicates that two gunmen on a motorbike traced and crossed the businessmen at the TDC traffic light at Tema Community One, and at gunpoint in a Rambo style, snatched a bag containing the money they had just withdrawn from the bank.
According to a statement issued later by the police, the robbers immobilized the businessmen’s car by shooting at the tyres at the TDC traffic light, and the statement said, “Police responded and exchanged fire with the robbers.”
“The two robbers died in the process, while the money scattered on the streets and were scrambled by people around, leaving only GH¢2,500 salvaged by the complainant,” he added.
However, one of the businessmen, Masahood Hamid, explained later that he and his business partner, a Lebanese, who deals in frozen fish at the Tema Fishing Harbour, had gone to withdraw an amount of GH¢123,345.00 at a bank located within the premises of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), but claimed some bank staff sensed danger when they saw the motorbikes outside the bank.
According to him, the staff advised they wait for some time, but when the suspected robbers failed to leave, the bank offered a police officer as escort.
On their way, the robbers crossed their vehicle, attacked them and took the money away.
Meanwhile, some residents of the area said they were living in fear as a result of three robberies at the same bank area that were all characterized by gunshots.
They are, therefore, calling on the police to beef up security in the area to deter other would-be robbers.