An ex-convict’s confessions on Happy FM’s ‘Nsem Pii’ show will give you a glimpse of life in Ghana’s prisons and ultimately, the schemes and activities of an armed robber.
Koo (a pseudonym for purposes of anonymity) decided to let it all out on his own accord after following the program on radio where several shocking confessions are made by various persons.
Koo explained he was forced into gambling at an early age of 15 as a result of negligence by his father whose failure to take care of him resulted in his fall out from school.
Cunningness is a skill he had to adopt in his first gambling experience with a rich man. Koo tampered with the playing cards in his first game with the rich man after conspiring with the woman who sold them. Through that, he won GH7,000 and 3,000 subsequently, a thing which didn’t go well with his contender who felt tricked and hence refused to release the money. It eventually resulted in a knife fight in which Koo injured the rich man and made away with the cash after which he went to give the card seller her fair share of the deal.
He ended up in prison after the rich man reported the case to the police, accusing Koo of stealing. He was tried and jailed for two years.
Koo revealed some intriguing things to host Nyansa Boakwa about his 2-year stay in prison. He had to resort to washing his fellow inmate’s clothes at certain points to earn as low as GHC1 for his basic needs and the food, well as usual was nothing to write home about.
The food served there was so terrible that it was not fit for a dog.The banku had no salt and the soups were so light that you could see your reflection in it,” Koo stated.
It was during his stay that he learnt the somewhat hard truths about previous stories he had heard about prisons.
For a little comfort and some money to get by, one had to make the hard choice of sacrificing their anus for their fellow men’s pleasure he explained. An older man or serving inmate with money will have sexual intercourse with an inmate who allows it in exchange for giving him good food and basically providing a comfortable life for him.
‘Wee’ in the prison cells, yes, the hard drug ‘wee’ and other illegal materials prohibited in the cells were smuggled somehow by inmates into the cells; the how is what Koo revealed.
“We have all heard that Indian hemp is sold in jail, I am sure just like me, you wonder how the Indian hemp gets into the prisons to be sold to inmates”.
Wraps of weed were smuggled through the anus to the prison cells by inmates.
Painful if you imagine it but it was done and to get to the stage where such things including mobile phones could stay in one’s anus and be transported, it took days of training with objects as big as batteries to widen the area and create enough room for the smuggled objects through the backside of these men nicknamed ‘Cargo’.
Koo got closer to a group of persons in the prisons for armed robbery by ‘acting’ like them to give off the impression that he knew all about robbery and could assist them in their rounds. He went as far as lying about what he did to get into prison; he killed someone during a robbery attack he told them.
He eventually got involved and got hints of schedules for their robbery. Having intel from close associates to the targets, they were sorted. In the meantime though, they had to transfer their ‘deals’ to fellow armedrobbers on the outside when they received calls from people with information until they were released to go on their very own operations.
Shockingly, househelps, drivers and personal assistants to these ‘targets’ are the one’s who leak out information to these robbers, Koo revealed.
When Koo was initiated into the robbery gang, he and some other interested participants were trained at the prison backyard which was their meeting place. In the course of the training, there were 99 laws to abide by and if one goes against any, he was fined and inability to pay the fine lands him in a jail set up by the leaders of the robbery gang community inside the prison.
Stigmatisation, unemployment and emptiness he felt after his release from cells 2 years after was enough motivation for him to join a gang and rob.
Getting in touch with some robbers he got linked to by his friends in prison, Koo set out on his path of armed robbery.
He moved in with them and served them as a houseboy. He got paid for doing this but he wasn’t participating in their robbery activities. After a while he decided to go with them for the robberies.
Koo’s first robbery operation was in Awoshie having been tipped by a house girl who informed the gang about her employer returning home with a sum of GHC 80,000
Koo disclosed that “we didn’t have any guns but there were some police men who rented out the guns to us in exchange for one third of the money we stole.”
They had told the police they were going to get 30,000ghc when in actual fact they were going to get 80,000ghc. After they had rented the guns from the police, they met with the house girl who aided them to duplicate the keys to the said house. This, according to him, was done by pressing the keys on a bar of soap to get the impression and the soap was later sent to a locksmith for the duplication.
The instruction was to strike at 1am which they did. Recounting the event; Koo said they got to the house, faked a slap attack on the house maid to create an impression and then attacked the boss and his family when he rushed to see what was causing the screams. Refusal to give them the monies they required led to an attack on the man who was hit by a gun leaving him unconscious.