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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 30 June 2005

Source: Daily Graphic

Thirty-five suspected robbers busted

The police have arrested 35 people at a gym at Fante New Town in Kumasi, suspected to be training grounds for armed robbers and other criminals.

The identification of the gym followed intelligence reports after a period of surveillance.

A combined team of police and military personnel last Saturday effected the arrest of the suspected criminals, including three women.

The police would not disclose their names for security reasons but gave the assurance that all details would be made known when investigations were completed.

At a news briefing in Kumasi on Tuesday, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, ACP Frank Adu Poku, said the suspects had gone through preliminary interrogation and screening and had been released on police enquiry bail.

He said some deadly implements were seized at the gym, which confirmed suspicions that the gym was used for nefarious activities.

Mr Adu Poku said preliminary investigations established some incriminating evidence against the suspects but because the courts were not sitting at the time of the arrests, the police were compelled to grant them bail after the mandatory 48 hours of arrest.

They are to report themselves to the police every two days until investigations are completed and on completion of the investigations, they would be put before court.

Mr Adu-Poku said the police are yet to identify the owner of the gym and that the police were initiating legal proceedings to get a court order to close down the gym.

The regional commander denied reports that soldiers had embarked on brutalities against innocent people at Fante New Town, which affected some tutors of the Kumasi Polytechnic.

He advised the media to crosscheck information on security matters with the appropriate authorities instead of just trying to create the impression that ?Kumasi was burning?.

Mr Adu-Poku said last Saturday?s operation was a legal one and pointed out that as a responsible institution, the police would always strike anytime they deemed it necessary, without necessarily informing the public.

He condemned the attitude of some radio stations in Kumasi, which had made it a habit of informing the public about intended police swoops and other operations.