Wanted Thug Blows Axim Police Cover
The prime suspect in the infamous Axim galamsey video, declared wanted by the police for attacking a patrol team, has spoken from his hideout, making some shocking revelations, denying the armed robber tag and implicating the Axim Divisional Police and others.
According to the fugitive, Kwame Ato Asare Ani, contrary to media reports, he is rather an informant of the police, who have been using him to extort money from illegal mining sites, popularly known as galamsey.
He revealed he only fell out with the police after he collected a sum of GH₵100,000 from some illegal miners and cleverly refused to, this time, give it to the police.
In his interview where he opened up on his activities with the police, Kwame said he has been an ally of the Axim Divisional Police, specifically in the Western Region, where illegal mining is endemic.
But his relationship with the police hit a rock recently, after he resorted to keeping money from one of their collaborated operations and decided not to hand it over to his police friends.
Kwame disclosed that, he had been an honest ally to the uniformed men for a while, but felt cheated many times, hence his decision to keep the said amount.
He said he chose not to give the officers the money because, in their past operations, the officers gave him a paltry GH₵2, 000.
He mentioned the Axim District police officer, Safo, and the district police crime officer as officers he has worked for and handed GH₵30, 000 to, a few weeks ago, after he collected the said money from galamsey sites.
He said, he told himself if he is giving over GH₵30,000 to the police almost every week, without getting anything more than just GH₵2,000, which was even given to him once, then he will also keep the GH₵100,000. But this appear not to have gone down with the police who have been on his heels, he added.
In his account, Safo had earlier pleaded that Kwame brings the GH₵100, 000 but he declined on grounds that they do not give him anything anytime he brings them the cash from the galamsey sites.
His claim, some say, confirms a portion of the viral 2:11 seconds video, where uniformed police officers were recorded pleading for their lives in the middle of a forest, where they had allegedly gone to extort money from Kwame and his gang.
The officers, numbering about four, according to a police statement, are under investigation by the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSP).
In the video sighted by The Anchor, one of the helpless officers who ended up kneeling down, together with another colleague whose uniform was seized, begging Kwame and his gang, was heard referring to the now suspect on the run as “Kwame you are my guy.”
The suspect, in the interview, boasted he is known by the locals in Axim as a very good friend of the police for almost a year and he has been extorting money from the miners, together with the police often indicating “the police are my people.”
Kwame, who came across as very powerful and dreadful in the video, donning an army green, told US-based online presenter Kevin Taylor, that the officers chose him because he knows the many illegal sites where he leads them in their operations for extortions.
In the course of the interview, Kwame mentioned one Kojo Bamba, said to be a National Security operative, who interestingly owns a galamsey site in the Axim area.
A police statement, signed by the Director, Public Affairs, ACP Grace Ansah-Akrofi, dated Sunday April 2, 2023, had partly said “A search conducted at the residence of Kwame Ato Asare Ani, the prime suspect who is still on the run, led to the retrieval of (3) pump-action shotguns.”
But reacting to this allegation by the police, the suspect said one of the guns was given to him by the Axim crime officer, to ostensibly protect himself on his rounds at these galamsey sites, which fetched them thousands of cedis.
The remaining three guns, Kwame said, he, together with his gang, retrieved them from Kojo Bamba’s boys, who serve as security guards at his galamsey site in the region.
The suspect, who has allegedly pledged to turn himself in to the police gave MTN number 02445998*** as the contact of the implicated Axim Police crime officer, who gave him the licensed pump action gun to help in his rounds.
Last Saturday, a video involving some police officers and illegal miners went viral on the internet, where the officers were seen being confronted by alleged irate miners from the Western Region.
The disturbing video, which was described as an affront to the Ghana Police Service, had the uniformed officers kneeling and begging the youth who accused them of extorting money from them and attempting to transport their leader Kwame.
The following day, which happened to be Sunday April 2, 2023, the police issued a statement indicating that four of the suspects had been arrested and Kwame was still on the run. The statement claimed some weapons which included pump action guns were retrieved from Kwame’s residence.