Crime & Punishment of Monday, 4 March 2013
Expats have been targeted in armed robberies since the beginning of 2013, resulting in both the US and British governments issuing warnings to foreign nationals about the dangers of gun crime in the country.
In the first two days of February three expatriates were attacked by armed robbers who have since been arrested, according to popular expat website, AccraExpat.com.
A Spanish national was attacked by two men on motorbikes as she stopped her car in front of her home in Dzorwulu at midnight. She was shot and robbed and was evacuated to Spain for medical treatment.
The same gang targeted a Forex Bureau in Dzorwulu, stealing a laptop computer, mobile phone and $110,000. An Egyptian national in the bureau at that time was also shot and robbed.
On the evening of February 2 around 9.30pm the gang robbed and shot a German national on his right shoulder through the windscreen of his car at Haatso Block Factory near the ECOMOG road (northeast of the University of Legon). They stole GHC200, an iPad phone and a watch.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website stated that two separate incidents occurred in late January 2013 in which two Westerners were shot while driving alone at night – it is not clear if the incidents were the same as those described on AccraExpat.com.
The US embassy issued the following statement on its website: “Within the past month, the U.S. Embassy has received reports of armed robberies of Westerners in the Osu and Ablekuma/Dzorwulu areas of Accra. In several incidents, victims were assaulted and robbed at gun point by assailants on motorcycles.
“The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to be aware of the potential for crime; ie, to increase their situational awareness and take appropriate personal safety and security precautions, especially after 10:00 p.m., and in crowded public areas frequented by Westerners.”
Last week there were reports of an armed robbery at Arlecchino’s, an Italian-owned ice cream shop on Oxford Street in Osu. However, these reports have not yet been confirmed.