Home / NEWS / The true story of Ataa Ayi and how his notorious armed robbery spree came to an end

The true story of Ataa Ayi and how his notorious armed robbery spree came to an end

The true story of Ataa Ayi and how his notorious armed robbery spree came to an end

Raymond Ayee Ayeetey was born in Adabraka, a suburb of Accra. He attended a preparatory school in Odorkor until his mother, who was his sole caregiver, travelled to the United Kingdom, resulting in his discontinuation of schooling.

This compelled him to learn a job, so he initially enrolled to learn mechanics.

Through that, he became a taxi driver and according to those who knew him back then, he was known for being very friendly and respectful towards his clients.

Life was going smoothly until, 1998 when Ataa Ayi was hired by a client for a funeral at Akropong where they got involved in a serious accident which totally destroyed his master’s car. A journey which completely changed his life forever.

Upon his return to Accra, he found himself without a job and burdened with debt.

He shared his predicament with a friend, who then introduced him to another acquaintance named Eddie, who was then seeking for a skilled driver. He had the opportunity to meet his new employer in the Flamingo area of Accra.

Ataa Ayi was shocked by the nature of his new job. His new employer was involved in car theft, acquiring and reselling stolen vehicles.

Initially hesitant, Ataa Ayi eventually agreed due to his responsibility to provide for his pregnant wife at the time.

Ataa Ayi subsequently joined the gang of thieves and took on the role of their driver. They targeted individuals at the bank conducting transactions, and looting their vehicles.

His first successful robbery occurred in 1999, during which he and his accomplices made off with a sum of GhC 12 million, equivalent to present-day GhC 1,200, which was a significant amount at the time.

As newcomers in the business, they lacked firearms. However, luck smiled upon them one day when they discovered a gun in a police vehicle, which they promptly acquired to facilitate their thefts.

The gang commenced robbing individuals in buses and hijacking cars on the streets.

Rumours circulated that he possessed charms capable of protecting him from gunfire and also disappeared when being chased by the police.

Ataa Ayi was renowned for his exceptional driving skills, as documented by the police. His prowess behind the wheel was such that he could have been a standout in action films, had he pursued a career in Hollywood.

According to police reports, he was capable of reversing a car at speeds of up to 100 km per hour during police chases.

Ataa Ayi’s name first popped up when a rich businesswoman called Madam Dora Kumi who lived at Taifa was targeted and robbed of a huge sums of money.

At the time, the leader of Ataa Ayi’s gang, Eric Frederick Lamptey Annan, alias Nunnboe, who had extensive experience in robbery and was already wanted in Nigeria for several counts of robbery, dispatched their spy, Nyarko, to gather the necessary information on the ground.

When the woman closed from work, Ataa and his gang executed their plan. Some gang members on a motorbike followed her from her workplace, while others waited in a car at Taifa Junction.

Immediately she got to Taifa Junction, they robbed her of $65,000 and 45 million old cedis.

Two days later, the Police mounted a massive operation where they arrested some suspects.

After an intense interrogation, a certain Tony Yaw owusu admitted he was one of the robbers and made mention of 7 other members including Ataa Ayi, the first time Ataa Ayi’s name popped up.

He engaged in numerous crimes. In one instance, he and his gang monitored a reverend minister who had visited the bank to withdraw money.

They trailed the man until he reached the church’s premises, where they opened fire and absconded with GhC 6 million old cedis.

A victim of Ataa Ayi’s robbery recounted his harrowing experience, detailing how the gang followed his car from the bank and absconded with the 422 million cedis he had withdrawn.

His face was put on billboards, etc and Ayi himself wanted his name to be used as a nickname for thieves.

In 2000, the police initiated a manhunt. Ayi purportedly eluded capture whenever the police drew near. Another police team, led by ACP Kofi Boakye, succeeded in apprehending some members of Ayi’s gang while others were killed during a gun battle.

Ataa Ayi eventually sought refuge at his elder sister’s residence in Teshie-Nungua, where authorities apprehended him.

Rumours suggest that Ayi remained in the house for weeks, unbeknownst to many, until a disagreement with his sister’s daughter led to his exposure as the most wanted man. Consequently, he was identified by some of the tenants.

On February 28, 2005, while Ataa Ayi was hanging his clothes out to dry, a police team laid ambush at his residence and arrested him from his hiding place.

While in custody, Ataa Ayi claimed he was tortured and coerced to sign statements which he claims some of which were not true.

He also claimed that most of the witnesses who testified against him at his trial committed perjury, but he was happy to have been sentenced.

Then 32 years, he was sentenced to 160 years with hard labour and is still serving his time at the Ankaful Maximum security prisons in Cape Coast.

Ataa Ayi is now a man of God in prison and now regrets all his past crimes and sins and has accepted Jesus as his savior.

Ataa Ayi still pleads with the government to be granted pardon. He hopes to become a great pastor on his release.

Credit: Eddie_writ X

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