THREE men have been sentenced to 14 and 15 years in prison for robbing $1million in 2016 from an Asian outside of the Bank South Pacific (BSP) at Point Cruz, Honiara.
Eric Nathanial Junior, Ben Farobo and Stanely Ramo were sentenced after they pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery.
Justice Leonard Maina when sentencing the three men on Friday said this robbery case fell within the worst-case category.
He said the facts of this case showed it was a well-planned attack on the victim.
“It happened at the commercial area with business people and a defendant armed with a bush knife,” Justice Maina said.
He said the fact it occurred at a commercial area caused fear to local people and expats going to the bank.
Justice Maina further added that all three defendants have a role in this robbery and they have achieved their aim.
The court heard the case included other accused and these three defendants took a total of $385,000.
Police only recovered $254,544 from them.
On the morning of 18 January 2016, the complainant, Wilson Deng and his work mate were about to enter BSP when the defendants attacked him.
Deng and his colleague were employees of the New Chapter Shop in Chinatown and were on their way to make deposits that day.
Deng was carrying the tightly-taped brown carton case which contained $1-million.
The defendants had met up earlier and went in a car which they parked in front of the BSP building.
They watched as the complainant was walking towards the bank, then Ramo ran up to him and was followed by Eric Jnr.
Farobo waited in the car.
Ramo grabbed the carton but was kicked by Deng.
Deng’s work mate ran up to help him and during the struggle, Ramo grabbed the carton from him.
Ramo and Eric then got into the waiting car and Farobo drove the car away.
Police arrested them shortly after the incident.
Justice Maina imposed 14 years imprisonment for Ramo and 15 years for both Erick Jnr and Farobo.
He then ordered the sentence to commence on the day each of the defendants were first remanded in custody.
“The defendants have the right to appeal the sentence,” Justice Maina said.
A fourth accused, Richard Rurai, who pleaded not guilty to the robbery will be facing trial next year.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN