A thirty-two-year-old banker who was nearly killed by car snatchers found a police officer using the car he lost to the robbers two years later.
Samuel Forson was attacked by four armed men who took his car with his a laptop computer and other personal belongings in December 2015.
For two years, nothing was heard about the criminals or his car until he personally saw the vehicle in Tema one Friday afternoon.
But Samuel’s story after that afternoon is another harrowing tale with the police.
Samuel told Joy News’ investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, that on December 4, 2015, he stopped at the Titanic Beach, located between Tema and Sakumono around 8 pm because his engine had developed a heating problem, but as he waited for it to cool, four armed men pounced on him.
Samuel was ordered to get out his vehicle by the robbers who were dressed like police officers.
“They looked into the car and then I was asked to come down and open the boot. As soon as I got down from the car, they hit me, I fell and they started pushing me…suddenly I heard one of them saying don’t kill him, don’t kill him. Then after they pushed me into the sea. How I came out is only a miracle,” Samuel recounts.
Samuel was rushed to Inkoom Hospital when he got out of the cold waters and was later referred to the 37 Military Hospital.
He spent two weeks in the hospital and another three months at home before he resumed work.
His attackers were not arrested and his car and other belongings were not found until January this year.
“I saw the car being driven by two gentlemen. I jumped into a taxi and I told the guy [taxi driver] to follow the car because it was a stolen car. So we followed them to Community 8. There was a drinking bar and they went to park there,’ Samuel says.
He then went to a police visibility point close by and reported the matter.
“So the Commander dispatched a team to follow me to effect the arrest. When we got there the occupants of the car told me they were police officers,” he said.
With the help of Detective Chief Inspector Nana Boahen of the Sakumono police, Samuel Forson was able to retrieve his car from the police.
According to him, one Sergeant Philip Amoako of Tema Community 8 Police, who was found driving the car started harassing him to refund the money he had spent to repair and maintain the car.
He eventually petitioned the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Department (PIPS) in February this year over the matter.
Joy News has been given details of the report from PIPS which says Sergeant Amoako had the blessing of his superiors to use the car to convey suspects between Community One and Community 8 police stations.
PIPS also found that Sergeant Philip Amoako only demanded to remove his car tape from the vehicle and did not pursue Samuel Forson for any money spent in maintaining the car.
The PIPS report concluded that Samuel Forson could not provide any evidence to substantiate his claim that the police officer pursued him for any money spent on repairs.
Samuel Forson, however, told Joy News that claim by PIPS is false. He said he was not asked to provide evidence. He gave Joy News phone recordings of conversations he had with Sergeant Philip Amoako on two separate occasions. In the recordings, Mr Amoako is heard asking for a refund of the parts he had bought and fixed the car.
The police would not grant Joy Newsinterview beyond providing excerpts of the PIPS investigations, but the findings leave many questions unanswered.
For instance, if the vehicle was used mainly to convey suspects, why did Sergeant Amoako repair it with his own money?
The PIPS report said Sergeant Amoako bought a car tape for the vehicle, was it meant to entertain the suspects or he used the vehicle as his private car for which he needed those fittings?
The police claim they sent communication to all police stations after they found the vehicle abandoned, but did the Sakumono police receive this information after they found the vehicle? The Sakumono police station where Samuel Forson’s attack and vehicle snatching was being investigated is very close to Tema Community One.
Furthermore, if they did, what was their response?
Sergeant Philip Amoako said he was the only one who used the vehicle. If it was, indeed, for official use only, why was it exclusively driven by Philip Amoako, who is not a police driver?
Before handing the car to an officer to use, did the police consider the possibility that the abandoned vehicle could be useful in investigations and that using it could compromise the evidence?
These and others are questions yet to be answered even as PIPS stated that no wrong was done in this case.