Bail has been refused for the men accused of the Westpac robbery incident.
Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo yesterday refused the bail application for the seven men saying evidence shows that all of them are a flight risk.
“Whilst I accept and took into account the submissions made by the Learned Defence Counsels on behalf of the applicants and has shown that their sureties prepared to pay their cash bail and have permanent address to reside them, in the present case, the evidence shows that all applicants are a flight risk.”
The men in late January attacked a security officer while trolling a box of cash out of the Westpac Bank and escaped with $4million.
The money was later recovered when the escaped was soured by a crash but over $200,000 was missing.
The presiding magistrate explained that the missing money was one weighing factor for the bail refusal.
“Evidence also showed the alleged offence involves property of substantial value of $290,000 that has not been recovered and for the person if released would make efforts to conceal or otherwise deal with the property.
“For those reasons, the bail application is refused.”
Security Officer Harry Lilimae, Gabi Selo, Dudley Baemalea, Patteson Amos Otokwai, Jonathan Wanefiolo, and Stanley Waneakwasia are charged with robbery.
Selo is also facing a charge of grievous harm for allegedly cutting off a security officer’s wrist while a separate accused Bartholomew Bara is facing one count of larceny.
Bara was charged for allegedly stealing $200,000 from the crashed car at Kakabona.
The robbery incident took place on the morning of January 26, outside of the Westpac Bank at Point Cruz when security officers were wheeling out boxes containing $4 million from the bank to their waiting vehicle outside of the bank.
The boxes of money were to be transported to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.
Two of the securities officers including Lilimae whom police alleged was the one who planned the robbery were wheeling out two boxes when the incident occurred.
Lilimae was allegedly attacked but was left unharmed.
The five accused then allegedly made off in a car heading westerly direction at a very high speed.
Police and the public chased the car resulting in it crashing at Kakabona.
There, it was alleged the five disembarked with knives, threatening anyone that go close to them.
Police managed to arrest some of them at the spot while the rest were arrested later.
Police retrieved $3.7 million while more than $200,000 was missing.
It was alleged that Bartholomew who resides at Kakabona stole $200,000 of that missing money from the crashed car.
He allegedly bought a car which he continues to use until February 25, when he was arrested with the car.
The men will reappear in court on March 30.
The defence is seeking disclosures from the prosecution.
The Public Solicitor’s Office is representing the accused while the Police Prosecution represents the State.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN