Yonkopa Cocoa robbed of GH¢380,000

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor

Four suspected armed robbers last Thursday afternoon stormed the offices of the District Yonkopa Cocoa, a licensed cocoa buying company (LCBC), in New Edubiase and robbed it of GH¢380,000.

The robbers are said to have trailed the staff of the company from the bank to the offices where they were supposed to distribute the money to their purchasing clerks.

In a style akin to what pertains in movies, the robbers, armed with guns and knives, stormed the offices of the company when purchasing clerks were ready to receive their cash to go and pay their farmers.

Amid sporadic firing, the robbers, who allegedly came in a Toyota taxicab (number withheld), went into the room and collected the money and bolted.

The stray bullets hit two people who were near the scene of the incident.

The injured were taken to the New Edubiase Government Hospital but have since been referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for further treatment.

Police

Confirming the incident to the Daily Graphic, the New Edubiase District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Francis Ackah, said the police had the information at around 1:30 p.m. and quickly rushed to the scene.

However, he said the suspects had left the scene at the time they arrived and his personnel had to comb the nearby bushes for more than three hours to no avail.

According to him, the police gave the number of the vehicle in which they were alleged to have bolted to all the checkpoints and the nearby districts.

He said the police initially arrested two of the district officers of the company but they had been released on police inquiry bail.

Concern

Mr Ackah said in September this year, the police had a meeting with all the cocoa buying companies in the district, during which the companies were  advised to stop paying cash to their purchasing clerks and instead use cheques to reduce the incidents of robbery.

According to him, he told the LCBCs that if they had to pay bulk cash to their officers, they should notify the police for protection.

“However, they did not inform us about the payment for us to give protection and now this has happened,” he lamented.

He said while the police were still on the lookout for the perpetrators, the public, particularly the LCBCs, should also help the police by adhering to the advice and seeking help from them when it was necessary.

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