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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Court remands 3 brothers for assaulting Custom officers and snatching rifle away


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Three of the five brothers who allegedly crossed into Ghana on a vehicle in defiance of the closure of the border and assaulted two customs officers at Vedome, near Kpetoe, before taking away their duty rifle from them were put before the Kpetoe Magistrate Court on Monday.

They are James Gatsi, 32, a driver; Domenic Gatsi, 34, a farmer and Mensah Ahiakpatsi Gatsi, 25, a commercial motor-cycle operator.

The three were charged jointly with stealing, assault on a public officer and causing unlawful damage.

Their pleas were not taken.

Sergeant Ernest Nketia, prosecuting, told the court presided over by Mr Samuel Essel Walker that the incident took place last week Thursday at about 5pm.

According to the prosecution, the two customs officers who were on patrol duties near the border that day spotted the Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number GE 4753 Y entering Ghana from Togo, heading towards Kpetoe and signalled it to stop.

The court heard that at that instance, Dominic Gatsi, the third accused, started yelling at the customs officers and asking them: “Didn’t I warn you never to come to this area to patrol again?”

Thereafter, all the five men on board the vehicle pounced on the officers and subjected them to severe beatings, tore their uniforms and took a sub-machine gun loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition from the senior officer and took it along to Worglokope in Togo.

According to the prosecution, on reaching Worglokope, the accused persons handed the weapon to the chief of the village.

The court was told that prior to that the battered customs officers called their base for reinforcement upon which a team of customs and immigration officers were dispatched to the scene.

However, the team returned from the scene shortly to lodge a complaint at the Kpetoe Police Station, and that led to the arrest of the accused persons at the Ghana side of the frontier.

The prosecution said that the chief of Worglokope in Togo, on July 25, handed the rifle to the police at Wudome in Togo, who returned it to the Kpetoe Police.

The prosecution said that the accused in their caution statement denied assaulting the officers, but admitted taking the weapon from them.

The accused who were remanded in police custody would appear before the court again on Monday.

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