Have you ever wondered how much Ataa Ayi stole in total to be sentenced to 160 years in jail?
Regarded as the most notorious armed robber in the history of Ghana, Raymond Ayee Ayitey popularly known as Ataa Ayi was arrested in 2005 while drying his clothes at his hideout in Teshie-Nungua.
Ataa Ayi whose name became a household name and synonym for a hardened criminal was reported to have engaged in several robbery attacks.
As the story goes, it all started when Ayi crashed his master’s car while returning from a festival in Akropong with a passenger and needed to raise an amount of money to repair the car.
He confided in a friend about his situation and his friend introduced him to another friend named Eddie who needed a skillful driver to help him with his criminal activities which involves looting cars.
Despite initially turning down the offer, Ataa Ayi joined the gang of car looters and their first operation in 1999 led them to steal ¢12 million cedis out of which he got ¢2.5 million cedis for himself.
Seeing how lucrative their criminal acts were, the gang made their activities frequent and they terrorized people while hijacking their cars and robbed them of their valuables.
One of the victims of Ataa Ayi’s robbery recounted his ordeal and narrated that the gang trailed his car from a bank and made away with ¢22 million cedis he had withdrawn.
Another victim who was a pastor also disclosed that Ayi’s gang stole his ¢56 million cedis at the church premises.
Ghana in the early 2000s was in the process of developing and as such there were few means to transact businesses with the aid of technology such as mobile money and back transactions, hence people carried high sums of money in large quantities.
Ataa Ayi and his gang were estimated to have stolen an amount of ¢700 million old cedis cash plus cars, telephones and pieces of jewellery. The cash amount stolen by Ataa Ayi and his gang would be equivalent to ¢70,000 cedis in 2022.
After being declared wanted with his pictures scattered across the country, Ataa Ayi went into hiding. Initially thought to be staying at Chorkor, Ayi later moved from the community after he got a tipoff that the police were looking to apprehend him.
A team of police led by ACP Kofi Boakye managed to arrest some members of Ayi’s gang while killing others who engaged them in a gun battle.
Ataa Ayi later went to seek refuge at his elder sister’s house in Nungua where he was arrested.
Grapevine has it that Ayi stayed in the house for weeks unknown to many, till he had an argument with his sister’s daughter and the most wanted man showed his face and was identified by some of the tenants.
On 28th February 2005, whiles Ataa Ayi was drying his clothes, a team of police laid ambush at the house and arrested him from his hideout.