Military officer, five cops charged for extortion granted bail

law-and-justiceFive police officers and a military officer on trial at the Tarkwa circuit court for conspiracy and extorting have been granted GH¢5,000 bail each with two sureties to be justified.

They are charged for extorting GH¢2,000 from a Chinese businessman at Low Cost, a suburb of Tarkwa, on April 7.

The five are Lance Corporal Sackey Narh Korley, General Constable Kwaku Assah, General Constable Jerrofera Everest, General Constable Richard Ofosu Baah, General Constable Patrick Nimaful and Fight Sergeant Otu Kennedy

They had since been in police custody after the incident and had pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.

The seventh accused person, Richard Nkrumah, was however refused bail because he tried to escape after the act but with the assistance of the Suame police in the Ashanti region he was apprehended on April 11 and escorted to Tarkwa.

He has been remanded and will re-appear before the court presided over by Mr. Samuel Obeng Diawuo on April 29 with the six others.

When the case was called on Monday, the councils for the accused persons, Mr. Avor Mensah and Mr. Bright Biaden pleaded with the court to grant them bail because they live in the barracks and will be available whenever the court needed them.

According to them, granting the accused persons bail will not interfere with the investigation because the alleged crime committed has already been captured on a CCT camera by the Chinese national.

At an earlier sitting, the Prosecutor, Detective Chief Inspector Oscar Amponsah told the court that on April 8, the complainant Dia Meng Sheng reported to the divisional CID office in Tarkwa that on April 8 at about 21:30 hours, five police officers who were dressed in uniform armed with AK 47 rifles and a civilian came to his house at Low Cost and extorted GHC2,000 cedis from his family.

He said the complainant reported the matter to the divisional commander in Tarkwa, Assistance Commissioner of Police Paul Ayitey.

Detective Amponsah said an officer from the CID department was dispatched to view the recordings on the CCT camera, the accused persons were seen extorting the money. The officer identified the policemen as stationed in Tarkwa.

He said the policemen were arrested and during interrogation admitted the offense and refunded GHC300 each of the money they extorted.

The Prosecutor said Fight Sergeant Otu Kennedy of the Air force station in Takoradi was also arrested as an accomplice but he denied his involvement  saying that he was at a drinking spot at Akempim near Tarkwa, when Nkurmah who is his friend came over and gave him GH¢150 to celebrate his birthday, but investigations revealed that he was part of the gang.

He said Richard Nkrumah, who tried to escape justice, in his caution statement said on the day of the incident F/Sgt Otu Kennedy called him at a drinking spot at Ayempim and master minded the plan that the complainant and other Chinese nationals were gambling.

According to the Prosecutor, Otu said because the complainant was his friend he will not like to show up and therefore asked Nkrumah to organize some policemen to cause their arrest and extort money from them.

Detective Amponsah said Nkrumah then organized the policemen with the help of one of the accused persons and he hired two taxis to the complainant’s house for the operation.

Source: GNA

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