FOUR men accused of robbing $4 million from Westpac Bank in Honiara early this year have been released on bail yesterday.
Patterson Amos Otokwai, Duddley Baemalia, Jonathan Wanefilio and Stanley Waneakwasia were each released on cash bail bond of $1,500, with strict bail conditions.
They all signed a recognition bond before they were released as ordered by Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo.
Under the orders, they are to reside with their sureties, report to the Henderson Police Station three times a week, not allowed to leave Honiara without the leave of the Court, prohibited from committing further offences whist they are on bail, prohibited from communication directly or indirectly with any nominated persons/potential witnesses.
They are also prohibited from interfering with prosecution witnesses direct or indirect and not to enter any licensed premise to sell or supply alcohol or any illicit drugs.
This is a second bail application made for them since a first application was refused last month.
This bail application was made for these for accused while three other accused, Harry Lilimae, and Gabi Selo and Bartholomew Bara are still in custody.
All the accused except Bara are facing one count each of robbery in relation to the incident on the morning of 26 January, outside of the Westpac Bank at Point Cruz.
Bara is facing one count of larceny for allegedly stealing $200,000 of the stolen money while Selo is also facing another charge of grievous harm for allegedly chopping off a security guard’s wrist.
Five of the accused allegedly robbed two boxes containing $4 million when two security officers including Lilimae, who allegedly planned the robbery, were wheeling out the boxes to their waiting vehicle outside the bank.
Lilimae and another security officer who got his wrist chopped off during the robbery incident were working for Alert Protective Service.
They were wheeling out the $4 million to their vehicle to be transported to the Central Bank.
Lilimae was allegedly attacked but left unharmed while his colleague got his wrist chopped off.
The five men then took off in a car heading westerly direction at a very high speed.
Police and public chased the car resulting in it crashing at Kakabona.
It was alleged that there, the five men disembarked with knives, threatening anyone that goes closer to them.
Police managed to arrest some of them at the spot while others were arrested later.
So far police have retrieved $3.7 million while more than $200,000 was missing.
Police alleged Bara who resided at Kakabona stole $200,000 from the crashed car.
He allegedly bought a car which police alleged he continues to use until 25 February, when he was arrested with the car.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN