Court to decide on bail for 5 men in gold heist

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CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo will decide on the bail application for the five co-accused in the Winwin robbery incident tomorrow.

This was after defence lawyers made application to the court to release the accused men before Ms Garo.

Prosecutor in carriage Vernon Taupongi made no objection to the application but cautioned court to consider strict bail conditions if it decides in favour of bail.

This is the case against Ken Anilava, Harrison Ramo, Olson Seda, Martin Maelifanua and Norman Garnita; they are facing various charges including armed robbery and impersonating a police officer.

They were charged in relation to the alleged armed robbery which occurred in the early hours of December 9, 2020 at Winwin mining camp in northeast Guadalcanal.

Prosecution alleged the men entered the mining camp in a G-plated land cruiser and took off with two gold bars, $140,000 in cash, and 15 mobile phones.

The men allegedly wore balaclavas and some of them were armed with pepper spray. It was also alleged some of the men wore police blue sky uniform police t-shirts.

They escaped in the land cruiser but were later arrested on different dates and locations in and around Honiara.

So far only two mobile phones have been recovered, the court heard.

The Public Solicitor’s Office with two other Private Lawyers Ben Etomea and Joseph Iroga represents the accused.

Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi appears for the crown.