Armed robbers in the early hours of Thursday took over the Koforidua township in the Eastern Region, robbing residents of their belongings.
The groups of robbers simultaneously carried out the operation at various locations in the town wielding guns and other offensive weapons.
Residents in areas such as Oyoko, Kotech new site, low-cost housing, Atekyem, St. James Pensec area and Adweso Estate were subjected to beatings and severe torture by the robbers. The robbers also subjected their victims including school children to slaps, beatings and severe pain before making away with their valuables.
When Citi News visited the homes of the victims their homes, they were being consoled by their families and friends.
Others were counting their losses while lamenting how to work to acquire the belongings they lost.
The rooms were ransacked.
One of the victims, Ernest Kweku Broda who narrated his ordeal to Citi News said, “I was asleep when I heard my cousin screaming that armed robbers are in the house, when I came to the living room they were pulling down our door hitting it with a big hammer so we all started shouting calling for help. Soon they gained access to the house pointing guns at us and instructed us to bring out our gold and money or they will shoot us but we informed them we have not even seen gold in our lives before”.
“They then made us lie down, broke into the bedrooms and started ransacking all the rooms before locking us in the bathroom. They made away with our laptops, mobile phones, jewellery and money”.
The robbers raided five houses in the same area, making away with mobile phones, laptops, Mi-fi, personal documents and an undisclosed amount of money.
According to residents, the police patrol team got to the area soon after the robbers had completed their operation.
We’re living in fear’
Efo Kofi Prosper, another victim of robbery at Two streams a suburb of Koforidua, told Citi News that residents are currently living in fear as the area has become a haven for robbers.
“My area is almost developed but it seems it has become a safe haven for criminals. Armed robbers have been terrorising residents here at Two streams on a regular basis, they come in with guns spend hours operating and robbing from house to house and go before the police get here so it has not been easy for us who live in this area. Because we do not have police patrolling the area when we go to bed every night we tremble thinking what if they come back again”.
Police demand mobile money
Prosper further revealed to Citi News that the police investigator requested for an amount of GHc30 to be sent via mobile money as the fee for pictures taken at the crime scene before investigation will progress.
“When the robbers broke into my shop and took away everything in there I went to lodge a complaint at the Central Police station, I was then given some detectives to go with, so I drove them in my car to the scene of the incident, but after they assessed the crime scene taking photos and other intelligence they needed, they then asked me to pay GHC 30.00”.
“I was confused so I asked what the money was for and they said it was for the fee of pictures they had taken at the crime scene, so I then pleaded with them for a reduction because the robbers had taken all my money away. I told them I had no money at that time so they said I could send it through mobile money. Later when they called, I told them to reduce it upon which they agreed and said I should bring GHC 20.00 to the office and not to send it on the mobile money”.
‘Residents losing confidence in Police’
Many residents in the Eastern Region have questioned the level of professionalism of some police personnel in the area, with others expressing worry over the slow response to crime scenes.
Last week, a group calling itself Concerned Youth of Kwahu released a statement threatening to petition the Inspection General of Police, the Interior Minister and the Eastern Regional Minister over the violent attacks on residents by armed robbers in the Kwahu enclave and the ineffectiveness of the police in dealing with such the issues. ‘Residents relocating’
Meanwhile, Citi News understands that a couple who were robbed at gunpoint at Two streams last week have relocated due to the trauma and emotional stress their kids are going through.
Two workers at the Koforidua Technical University were also in separate incidents are at Osabene and Simpoa Miensa a month ago are yet to recover from the shock of the incident.
“Two of my colleagues at the Koforidua Technical University were robbed a month ago and their lives have not been the same again. Apparently, last month’s incident happens to be the third time one of them a very close friend had been robbed and I can not explain the kind of trauma and emotional stress her family is going through. They are considering selling her house in order to relocate to another area just because of their experience with these robbers”, a source said.
Meanwhile, the Koforidua – Effiduase District Police Commander ASP Dan Yaro who visited the homes of some affected victims assured them that his outfit would bring the perpetrators to book.
He pleaded with residents to consider various security measures to protect their properties to complement the efforts of the police.