K’si kidnappers demand $800,000 ransom from parents of victims
It has emerged that the alleged kidnappers of the two Canadian women demanded $800,000 ransom from the parents of the women.
The kidnappers, as part of their modus operandi 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.
This came to light yesterday when six out of the eight suspects (now) accused were arraigned before the Accra High Court and remanded in police custody.
They accused, Sampson Aghalor also known as Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, all Nigerians, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari aka Nba – Ghanaians have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, were separately charged with kidnapping.
Ms Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, prosecuting, told the court presided by Justice George Buadi that Aghalor struck an acquaintance with Yakubu in March, 2019.
She said Aghalor went to Nigeria and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.
The court heard that on June 4, 2019, the gang went on a kidnapping operation in Kumasi, and kidnapped the two Canadian women after accosting them from a hostel in Nhyeasio, a suburb of Kumasi.
The gang sent the two girls 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.
In order to prove that they were serious, the gang smeared blood on the women and the floor.
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 female Canadians, who were kidnapped in Kumasi, 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 got off 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, AS 4169-19, was retrieved at Achiase, near Sawaba, in the early hours of yesterday.
About 10 suspects, some of them from Kumasi, have been arrested in connection with the act and are in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Accra, but the Ashanti Regional Police Command, would not make further comments on the rescue operation.
The Ghanaian Times gathered that few hours after the kidnap of the victims, the Ashanti Regional Police Command secured a 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 here to assist with the investigation.
The case stands adjourned.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA