The fear of Ghana's Military High Command that weapons being smuggled by its personnel on United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping duties, particularly in Lebanon, may be landing in the hands of criminals, especially armed robbers, has been confirmed by this paper's checks on a number of robbery cases recorded in parts of the county.
The investigation reveals that, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has a very loose system, which allows weapons being trafficked into the country for criminal activities, including robberies and contract killing.
Last week, The Herald, disclosed how the GAF, had busted some of its soldiers smuggling weapons into the country through various means, including hiding them in car engine, but although recommendations had been that the soldiers be court martialed and punished, this has not happened because some top officers, rather want their loyalty.
The GAF and its Directorate of Public Affairs (DPR) led by Col. Eric Aggrey-Quarshie, have in recent years, been unresponsive to media report on the military unlike the days of Col. Emmanuel WK Nibo and to some extent Col. M'bawine Atintande, who took their jobs seriously. It is unclear, if the military will respond to the latest report.
Indeed, a collection of armed robbery stories gathered so far, revealed the deadly Bruni pistol mod 92 and Bruni mod 92 Auto Pistol, said to be manufactured in the troubled Lebanon are commonly used by the criminals.
It is striking to note that in about 12 armed robbery cases, almost all the suspects, had in their possession, Bruni pistol mod 92, Bruniberetta 92 Auto Pistol.
Pump action guns, which were cited in the Military's confidential report as part of the guns imported into the country, are also used in the robberies.
The military's findings were that, a total of twelve (12) pistols and one (1) fake pistol, seven (7) pump action guns and one (1) single barrel gun, were retrieved from the soldiers in that report alone.
The investigative report carried out by the Military Police Special Investigation Branch commenced in September 2017 and led to several arrest of soldiers, trips to their homes and even a visit to public cemetery, where some of the weapons were hidden. Itwas concluded in November 2017, but the final report was issued on February 9, 2018.
The document gave the officers names and numbers as; 188240 WO1 Awaya Inusah stationed at MATS Headquarters, 189243 WOII Dagadu Patrick from Headquarters of the Southern Command, then 191168 PO1 Quainoo Paul Kumi Yaw, said to be stationed at WNC.
The rest are 192633 SGT Adu-Ofori Amos of Base Workshop, 194591 SGT Yentumi-Afful Ernest also of the Base Workshop, as well as 195033 POII Kojovie Paul Sena of the GNS Bonsu.
Interestingly, details of some of the robbery attacks in parts of the country, show state security officers did not only sell some of these guns, but were even involved in these robberies.
This paper's own search, revealed that for instance, a dawn swoop carried out in Yeji and its environs in the Pru East District in September 2019, by a combined team of police and military personnel from Sunyani and Techiman, got some 16 suspects arrested with three having different types of guns, ammunitions and dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemps.
Sumaila Ibrahim alias JJ was found with different types of guns, including Bruni pistol mod 92, a revolver pistol, dismantled short gun, a G3 with five rounds of ammunition and a browning pistol with six rounds of ammunition.
Another suspect, Tahiru Abdul Wahab, was also arrested with a Bakal short gun, two hammers and five cutlasses.
In the Ashanti region, the Regional Police Command in what officials described as 'house-cleaning' of security agencies in the country to ensure sanity. It came as a result of arrests of security personnel for various crimes in 2015.
An Immigrations officer was picked up at Obuasi for alleged illegal sale of arms to civilians. Regional Deputy Police Commander, ACP Ampofo Duku, at the time said the worrying trend raised questions about the calibre of people in the security services.
36-year-old Richard Atiso, who is Assistant Immigrations Control Officer, was arrested as he tried to negotiate to sell a gun to a supposed buyer.Unknown to the officer, his arrest was prompted by police intelligence upon which a policeman was detailed to feign interest to buy a gun.
He later met suspect Kwasi Deyira, who promised to contact his brother who was in possession of the said pistol.
The two met the supplier who happened to be Richard Atiso the immigrations officer, who demanded 2,500 Ghana cedis for the supply.
Richard in two days met the buyer who is a police officer, and offered an Italian made Bruni Mod 92 Pistol with 24 pieces of 9mm live ammunitions for a fee of 4,000 Ghana cedis, instead of the earlier agreed price.
In the course of receiving the money, the police arrested him for dealing in illegal arms and ammunition.
They further discovered six pieces of 8mm ammunition in his car.ACP Ampofo Duku, said it is high time authorities began a quick cleaning up exercise to sanitize the security service.
"It is very sad because we are the people expected to protect the society and weed out miscreants and so if such people are within our ranks then that's serious."The signal is that it is serious and so we must sit up and do some house cleaning exercises before it gets out of hands," he said.
Additionally, some ten suspected armed robbers in two gangs including a nursing mother were arrested by the police in separate operations in Accra and Nsawam in the Eastern Region.
They were Moses Tetteh, the gang leader, 20, Machine Operator; Louis Mawunyo Dzidzom,37,driver; Kwame Takyi, driver, Eunice Dorkenu,29 (wife of Takyi), Kwabena Otibu, 29, phone repairer, Alhassan Abdulai,42,spiritualist; Abdul Rahaman Ishaq, Iddrisu Adul Jalil, Faisal Mohammed and Abass Ussif.
Items, include a foreign pistol loaded with 14 rounds of ammunitions, a spare magazine loaded with 11 rounds of ammunitions, a foreign pistol, a pump action gun and cartridges.
The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Fredrick Adu Anim, told journalists at a press conference in Accra.
Tetteh allegedly, contacted Takyi and informed him of an intended robbery operation in Dansoman. He said Takyi's task was to procure weapons for the robbery operation which he agreed and further recruited suspect Otibu from Tema, to join the gang.
DCOP Anim said Tetteh again recruited Dzidzorm as a driver, who would drive the car, should they succeed in the robbery. He said later at about 5:00p.m police acting on intelligence proceeded to Sukura in Accra where four were found smoking Indian hemp in preparation for the said robbery and were all arrested.
He said the police found on him a pistol and two rounds of ammunition and two empty AK 47 shells.
DCOP Anim said Eunice was also arrested as an accomplice, adding that on hearing that her husband was arrested, she handed over a foreign pistol belonging to her husband to Iddi currently at large in an attempt to conceal evidence. "She however led the police to retrieve five rounds of pistol ammunition wrapped in a rubber bag and buried in the ground,'' he added
DCOP Anim said Ussif who was arrested and granted bail was re-arrested and a search conducted revealed a foreign pistol, a pump action gun, cartridges among others.
In the Eastern Region, the Police Command arrested a police officer, suspected of leading a notorious armed robbery gang that have terrorized residents of Somanya and Akuse for several years.
The officer, Corporal Gasty Yahaya Seidu (No. 43255 G), 37, of the Akuse Police Station, and two of his accomplices, Seth Kpornyo Dodzi (private security officer) and another suspect, were arrested at various hideouts on 26th April, 2008 following their suspected involvement in a robbery at a Shell Fuel Station at Okwenya along the Akuse – Somanya road on 26th March, 2018.
The gang reportedly robbed and inflicted machete wounds on a guard at the fuel station; Kudjo Akakpo aged 42, and fled the scene, thinking he was dead.
A search conducted in the room of the policeman led to the retrieval of one Bruni Pistol mod 92 together with two magazines and three 1.8mm ammunition, an axe, a knife, 3 pepper spray, 10 wrist watches, a pair of handcuff and a bayonet.
Another search in the room of suspect Seth Kpornyo Dodzi at Trom, a suburb of Somanya, revealed 19 BB/AA live cartridges."
Again, four suspected notorious armed robbers who were terrorizing residents of Ashaiman, were apprehended by the police.
The suspects, Anthony Amevinye, 18; Ibrahim Adams alias Alkaline, 20; Emmanuel Nimo alias Touch, 20 and Michael Teye alias M1, 19, were arrested after a reported struggle with the police.
They were said to be in a meeting at a hideout at Old Tulaku, a suburb of Ashaiman, planning to embark on a robbery expedition when the police swooped on them.
Police retrieved from the suspects, one Italian Bruni MOD 92 automatic pistol and another foreign pistol and 75mm ammunition. Further searches in their rooms uncovered a locally manufactured pistol plus three live BB cartridges hidden in the ceiling of Ibrahim Adams' room.
The suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit: robbery and attempted robbery; and are to appear before court.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) George Antwi Tandoh, Crime Officer of the Ashaiman District Police Headquarters, indicated that at about 4:30 pm, his outfit picked intelligence that a group of young men had gathered at Old Tulaku planning to go and rob.
Without wasting time, according to him, the police stormed the location and managed to arrest all the four suspects after a struggle.According to him, the suspects mentioned robberies they had embarked on at Zenu, Ashaiman, Atadeka, Communities 1, 8 and 25 in Tema.
In the Upper East Regional Police arrested a police officer with the regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the police headquarters in Bolgatanga who at the time served as Arms and Ammunition Clerk after said a mobile money merchant was robbed at gunpoint on his way home from work.
On 15thSeptember 2017, the police started its investigation which led to the arrest of one Abdullai Issaka, aged 26, and when a search was conducted in his room, a Bruni pistol purse was found, and five rounds of ammunition were also retrieved from him.
The then DCOP Dedjoe, claimed that during interrogation, Abdullai Issaka, mentioned one Douglas Ayine Akologo alias W.O, as the owner of the pistol purse. The police arrested W.O. and a search in his room also revealed a Bruni Mod 92 pistol in good condition, with 13 rounds of ammunition.