Twenty-four suspected highway robbers believed to be the masterminds of a number of robberies on major highways across the country have been busted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.
They are Abdulai Salia, alias Mallam, Bob Cedi or Forest Killer, Abdul Karim, Abdul Razak Abubakar, Saliu Ali, Ibrahim Issaka, Abdul Razak Osman, Mohammed Fatau, alias Sowah, Kofi Ahmed, and Osman Yaro Jallo.
The others are Musah Bube, Inusah Layah, alias Techiman, Shaibu Hamidu, Saga Amadu, Ibrahim Mamudu, alias Al Jumah, Kofi Azuma, alias Adama or Tallar,
The rest are Issaka Abubakari, Seidu Osman, alias Alhaji or Seidu Mamprusi, Ali Issaka, Osman Umaru, Abubakari Ali, Bolli Bukari Jallo, Iddrisa Jallo and Amenga, alias Asutuare.
The arrested robbers, believed to be of Fulani extraction, are alleged to have been operating a network which shared information on the movement of passenger buses from Accra to all parts of the country.
They are also suspected to be involved in cross-border crimes, especially in northern Ghana and neighbouring Burkina Faso.
The police have also mounted a search for 21 other highway robbers who are currently at large. They are alleged to have carried out a number of robberies on major highways across the country.
The modus operandi of the robbers, according to the police, was to block roads to force motorists to stop, so that they could rob them at gunpoint.
Most of their victims are traders on trips to do business or returning home after market days.
The Director General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Bright Oduro, told the Daily Graphic that nine of the suspects were arrested upon a tip-off during the latter part of 2016, while 15 were arrested between February and June this year.
He said the highway robbers sometimes targeted successful businessmen, especially gold dealers, who travelled to transact business in other parts of the country.
He cited the case of a gold dealer at Tingar in the Northern Region who was attacked on two occasions by the alleged robbers on the highway.
He said during the second attack on the businessman, the police and inhabitants of Tingar organised themselves and bravely foiled the attack, killing two of the robbers in the process.
“These Fulani robbers have perpetrated their trade in the southern, middle and northern parts of the country and unleashed terror on well-meaning Ghanaians who were going about their normal businesses,” he said.
According to him the stretch from Bole to Wa through Sawla and Wechaw in the Upper West Region had become scenes of a number of highway robberies, during which the robbers had fired shots into vehicles, killing some people before robbing them.
Mr Oduro said a number of robberies involving Fulanis had also occurred on the main road from Wa through Hail-Jefesi, Tumu, Kupulma to Leo in Burkina Faso.
The stretch from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to Atebubu, Nkoransa and Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region to Buipe in the Northern Region has been identified as being prone to highway robbery.
“In the southern part of the country, these Fulani armed robbers have perpetrated their robberies from Sogakope, Dabala, Agbakope, Agbagome, Akatsi-Abor up to the Avalavi Junction and also from Denu on the main road to Ho,” Mr Oduro said.
He said even though patrols had been intensified in the robbery-prone areas, a few robberies were still being recorded, expecially along the Bolga, Nangode, Tili, Zimbilla and Bawku stretch in the Upper East Region.
In the Central and Western regions, highway robberies had been recorded on the Apam, Yamoransa, Diaso and Ayamfuri stretch of the road, he added.
The Director General of the CID, therefore, appealed to members of the public, especially victims of highway robberies, to report such incidents to the CID Headquarters in Accra or the nearest police station and assist in investigations.