General News of Monday, 23 September 2002

Source: Chronicle

Abortive Gold Robbery

Eight suspected armed robbers who attempted to rob a private gold mining company of ?200 million worth of gold concentrates at Dataano in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region have been arrested by a team of police-cum-military personnel, in conjunction with the youth from four communities in the area.

Among the arrested robbers is one I. K. Acheampong, a headman of the mining company, KASS Mining, who is suspected to have masterminded the operation. Pistols, knives, cutlasses and sacks were retrieved from them during a search operation.

Two vehicles, a Nissan pick-up and an Opel taxi cab with registration number GR 5049 J and GR 7282 S, respectively, which the armed robbers used for their operations have been impounded, while a search has been mounted for three others who managed to escape.

Mr. Nat Ayensu, site manager of the company, told the Chronicle that on September 1, this year, at about 7:00 p.m., farmer who was returning from his farm saw the first two cars parked near the company's premises.

The farmer suspecting a foul deal reported them to the youth at Dataano, who sent word to Butokrom, Massokram and Watreso and asked them to block all roads while they called the police.

Ayensu said while this arrangement was being put in place, Acheampong, who was at Dataano that night, sneaked out to inform the robbers that the people were closing in on them.

A telephone call had also been made to the workers of KASS, who immediately mobilised in readiness to confront the robbers.

This prompted the thieves to move into the village, where they were arrested.

The suspects mentioned Acheampong as the one who invited them for the operation.

Mr. John Kwesi Afriyie, managing director of KASS Mining Company, who confirmed the story, commended the people of the four communities and the security personnel for their alertness and concerted effort in battling the robbers.