Committal ruling on 3 bank robbery cases next week

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE committal papers regarding the three separate bank armed robbery cases will be made on April 4.

This is after the prosecution tendered the committal papers to the court yesterday.

The incident occurred in 2015 and 2016 where police alleged that certain men wearing masks and armed with weapons robbed the Bank of South Pacific banks in Honiara and Auki.

The three cases were previously committed to the High Court as the nature of the cases were quite serious.

One of the cases is in relation to the alleged Westpac Bank robbery in 2015.

Police alleged that the men were robbing about $4 million after chopping off a security guard’s wrist between 10am and 11am of January 19, 2015.

Police said that after they took the money they drove off in the westerly direction at very high speed.

Police and the public chased the car which resulted in it crashing at Kakabona.

Police said when the car overturned, five men came out from the car with knives and threatened that no one could go near them but residents at Kakabona chased them when they heard from police that they were the suspected robbers.

Prosecution alleged that during the robbery one of the robbers approached the security guard with a knife to attack him but he fell onto the cash box and rolled helplessly onto the main road.

At this stage and another accused allegedly jumped out with a long bush knife aiming to chop the security’s head but got the security guard’s wrist instead when the guard tried to avoid the knife.

It was then that his left wrist was taken out completely.

Police alleged it was sheer luck that only his wrist was chopped off, as it could have been his head.

Despite the injury, police said his right arm never let go of the cash box, prompting the attacker to continue hacking at him with the knife on the elbow.

Police alleged the robbers, some of whom wore masks, then took off in a waiting vehicle.

Another separate bank robbery case is in relation the incident occurred on November 27, 2015 in Auki.

Police said the men were armed with dangerous weapons and one of them had a gun and fired a shot while standing outside the bank as lookout, the court was told. While other men stayed in the getaway car

Two others went into the bank and filled up bags with about SBD$200,000 and US$10,000, the court heard.

The prosecution said that another shot was fired before the men left the bank.

And the third bank robbery case is in relation to the attack on the two Asian businessmen outside the old Westpac bank now BSP

Police alleged that the four accused were masked and armed with a knife when they attacked two Asian men as they were about to enter the BSP bank.

One of the businessmen was struck with a knife and also shot from a sling, the court was told.

The Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the state while Lawyers from the Public Solicitor’s Office represents all accused.

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