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2 more remanded in connection with kidnapping of 2 Canadian women

Two out of the eight persons arrested in connection with the kidnapping of two Canadian women in the Ashanti Region, were yesterday, remanded into police custody by an Accra high court.

The accused, Abdul Rahman Sulemana, the owner of the car that was used for the operation, and Safianu Abubakar had denied knowledge of their involvement in the crime.

Already, six alleged accomplices were arraigned last Friday, June 14, 2019 and remanded after it emerged that they demanded $800,000 ransom from the parents of the women.

Ms Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, prosecuting, told the court presided by Justice George Buadi that the two, charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, were arrested because Safianu is a close associate of one of the accused.

The six other accused, Sampson Aghalor also known as Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, all Nigerians, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari also known as Nba – Ghanaians, have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

 Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, were separately charged with kidnapping.

Ms Craig told the court that Aghalor struck an acquaintance with Yakubu in March, 2019, and that Aghalor went to Nigeria and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.

The court heard that the kidnappers smeared the faces of the victims, Bailey Jordan Chitty and Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley with blood, ostensibly to create the impression that the women were badly tortured.

The court heard that on June 4, 2019, the gang kidnapped the two Canadian women after accosting them from a hostel in Nhyiaeso, a suburb of Kumasi.

The gang took the two women to an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo.

Ms Craig said that Aghalor, who was the leader of the gang, called the families of the two women and demanded $800,000 as ransom. 

On June 11, a National Security team, led by Colonel Michael Opoku, arrested Yusif, who later led them to arrest the gang.

Upon their arrest, the accused mentioned Nasir and Abubakari as part of the gang.

The two Canadian women were rescued after eight days of intensive search by the Ashanti Regional Police Command in collaboration with other security operatives.

Tilly, 19,  Chitty, 20, were kidnapped on June 4, 2019, moments after they alighted from  an Uber cab, at their apartment at Silver Spring in Kumasi, at about 8:20pm.

Tilly and Chitty were in Ghana for an exchange programme with the Entrepreneurship Department of the Kumasi Technical University.

They were rescued at Akorem in Sawaba, in Kumasi and the vehicle used to kidnap them, a red Toyota Corolla, with registration number AS 4169-19, was retrieved at Achiase, near Sawaba.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that few hours after the kidnap of the victims, the Ashanti Regional Police Command secured footage of the Uber vehicle that dropped them off at their apartment as well as the Toyota Corolla and forwarded them to the National Security who used the information, to track the suspects. 

The driver of the Uber cab was arrested the following day by the police to assist with the investigation.

The case has been adjourned to July 1.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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