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June 2019: 2 x Canadians kidnapped in Ghana

The Bread Guy

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I really hope I don't have to create a "Canadians kidnapped in Africa:  Merged Thread" here - this from the BBC ...
Two Canadian women have been kidnapped in Ghana by unidentified gunmen in the country's second largest city, Kumasi.

The two students, aged 19 and 20, have been working as volunteers for a charity. They have not been named.

They were seized on Tuesday evening outside their apartment in the Ahodwo district and bundled into a car, police said.

Kidnappings in Ghana have been extremely rare until recently, correspondents say.

However, there have been several over the past few months usually involving ransom demands.

Police say the two women are volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a Toronto-based international development organisation.

"Security agencies are working closely together to get them rescued, and the perpetrators arrested," said David Eklu, Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed the abductions and said Canadian officials were working with authorities in Ghana and were in touch with the families of the two women.

Ghana's President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has vowed to take a tougher line on kidnappers after a spate on abductions in the country ...

More from The Guardian, CTV News, CBC.ca & Voice of America.

And this from Ghanaian media ...
An Uber driver has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of two Canadian women in Kumasi.

According to eyewitnesses, the pair (names withheld) were returning to their hostel at Ahodwo, a suburb of the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi on Tuesday when they were pushed into a car by some unidentified men ...

Ghana Police news release attached (source).
 

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  • GhanaPoliceNewsRelease6jun2019.jpg
    GhanaPoliceNewsRelease6jun2019.jpg
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OldSolduer

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Let’s hope they will return safely and unharmed. I’ll reserve my comments regarding the kidnappers.
 

The Bread Guy

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And they've been rescued ...
Two Canadian women have been rescued after they were kidnapped last week by gunmen in Ghana's second city, Kumasi, a government minister has said.

The two students, aged 19 and 20, were working as volunteers for a charity when they were seized.

Kidnappings in Ghana, regarded as one of West Africa's most stable states, are extremely rare.

However, there have been several recently, usually involving ransom demands.

Security forces carried out an operation in the early hours of Wednesday to rescue the women, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a statement.

The pair were volunteering for Youth Challenge International, which confirmed their names as Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty.

The Toronto-based organisation said both women are physically unhurt and have been in contact with their families

Canadian officials thanked the Ghana government for its cooperation "in the resolution of this case".

In a statement, they said no further details will be released for privacy concerns "and out of respect to these two Canadians who have been through harrowing experiences" ...
... with some rescue details coming from Ghanaian media:
Eight suspects have been arrested by the security agencies for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the two Canadian women at Ahodwo in Kumasi last week.

The suspects include five Ghanaians and three Nigerians who were picked up at Kenyasi, a suburb of Kumasi, at dawn on Wednesday following security intelligence gathered.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who briefed the press in Accra on Wednesday on the arrests, declined to name the suspects.

He said the operation was carried out by Ghana’s security agencies, without the involvement of any foreign assets.

Security agencies

He mentioned National Security, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) and Defence Intelligence as the agencies which took part in the operation.

He indicated that since the day of the abduction, security operatives had been working around the clock to rescue the two women and that intelligence gathering efforts enabled the security agencies to zero in on the persons associated with the incident.

Mr Nkrumah said one of the suspects was first arrested about 7 p.m. last Tuesday, adding that later that day the suspect harbouring the two women was also arrested.

“The whole operation lasted 25 minutes and in the end all the suspects were arrested and are currently assisting the police in their investigations,” he said.

Rescue operation

According to him, the holding place of the two victims was identified by the security agencies, who surrounded the place, and on entering the holding area, they spotted two Nigerians who were guarding the Canadians.

Amidst the firing of shots, the Nigerians were subdued, he added.

He noted that one of the suspects got injured in the process and was now in hospital.

He said a third Nigerian, believed to be the leader of the group, was arrested later at a separate location.

He asserted that the two Canadian women, Bailey Chitty and Lauren Tilley, were unhurt following their ordeal and had been brought to Accra, where they are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals before they travel back home.

The minister commended the security agencies for the good work and appealed to the media to avoid speculations and be circumspect in their reportage, as ongoing investigations to resolve similar kidnapping issues could be compromised ...
More @ links

Statement from NGO the women were working for also attached.
 

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  • yci.org-Volunteers Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty Rescued by Ghanian Police.pdf
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Retired AF Guy

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From an article in yesterdays National Post's by Adam Burns:

" Oppong-Nkrumah [Ghana’s information minister] said a Canadian “team” had been in Ghana to offer help in the rescue, but it was not necessary because Ghanaian forces had the situation under control."

Article Link
 
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