CCTV exposes prison officers aiding a Chinese prisoner escape

Joseph Oteng and Sergeant Isaac Boateng Bonsu have been charged with conspiracy and aiding escape

Two prison officers have appeared in an Accra Circuit Court on charges of assisting Wang Xiao, a Chinese convicted prisoner at Nsawam Medium Prison, in escaping.

Joseph Oteng and Sergeant Isaac Boateng Bonsu have been charged with conspiracy and aiding escape.

The accused correctional officers allegedly told their superiors that after visiting the hospital, they were approached by a Toyota Vitz car, which then drove away with the convict.

However, CCTV footage from a hotel has exposed them.

The CCTV footage indicated that the accused persons escorted the Chinese convict to a hotel to meet his wife in a room.

The convict and his wife allegedly escaped over the room’s balcony while the officers waited in the hotel reception area.

They have pleaded not guilty, and the court presided over by Afia Owusua Appiah has granted them bail in the sum of GHC100,000 each, with two sureties to be justified.

They are to reappear on 9 April 2024.

The prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Wisdom Alorwu, stated that the complainant was the third in command at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, and the accused were serving under his supervision.

The prosecution said on 7 February 2024, at around 0700 hours, the two officers were detailed to escort Wang Xiao, a Chinese national serving a one-year sentence at Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment.

The prosecutor said that after the convict was treated by a medical officer at the hospital’s dental department, the two accused agreed to accompany him to the Oceans Hotel in Korle Gonno to meet his wife for a discussion in exchange for a reward of GHC1,000, which they agreed to split.

According to Chief Inspector Alorwu, the accused removed the convict’s handcuffs and took him to the hotel reception.

The second accused, Bonsu, informed the receptionist that they were there to see someone in one of the rooms.

The prosecution said the two accused sent the convict to the room, where they met his alleged wife, who offered them KFC rice and drink while she “spends some time with the husband alone.”

Upon returning to the hotel room to contact the convict, the accused discovered that both the convict and his alleged wife had fled through the balcony.

The prosecutor said that after the convict fled, the accused proceeded to Tema Station Hockey to hide the handcuffs with a witness in the case.

They immediately called their superiors in Nsawam and informed them that when escorting the convict from the hospital, they were unexpectedly stopped by a yellow and black unregistered Toyota Vitz taxi, and the inmate leapt into the taxi and fled with it.

The prosecutor said the accused were interrogated by their superiors at the Prisons National headquarters, who then submitted a formal complaint to the police on 13 February 2024.

During investigations, the accused led police to the hotel. A review of CCTV footage revealed that the convict and his wife jumped from the balcony of the first-floor building and fled while the accused were relaxing in the reception area after receiving meals from the convict’s wife.

The prosecutor said that it was only when the hotel staff alerted them to check on the prisoner that they realised he had escaped.

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