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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 19 December 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Demand for ransom by criminals rocks Accra

The Kaneshie Police in Accra have mounted a search for suspects of two kidnappings which took place in a church at the North Industrial Area, for which parents had to pay a total ransom of GH¢55,000.

Two children: a 10-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, were abducted in two separate incidents at a church, which name the police did not give out for security reasons.

The two kidnappings happened between December 12 and 15 this year.

Modus Operandi

The modus operandi of the suspects was that they usually picked their victims at the church, while their parents were worshipping. They would then leave behind a phone number. When the parents of the children call the number, the suspects would then demand a ransom, warning the parents to pay if they wish to see their children alive again.

Briefing the media in Accra yesterday, the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Christian Yohuno, said police investigations revealed that the boy for instance was playing with his colleagues in the churchyard when he was enticed by an unknown man holding a mobile phone.

Mr Yohuno said the abductor(s) locked up the children and forced them to furnish the kidnappers with their parents’ phone numbers.

The commissioner said after the victims were taken away, the suspects left behind a phone number (0545662709) to be contacted.

According to him, the abductor(s) then used the mobile line to demand money from the victims parents before their child could be released to them.

He said in the two cases, the syndicate instructed the victims’ parents to deposit the amount at a particular place at Darkuman Official Town and for the girl the money was to be deposited at Bubuashie near Datus Complex School before the children could be released.

In the manner of depositing the money, the syndicate instructed the parents of the boy to give the money to an eight year-old-girl who would be standing by the roadside at Darkuman.

In the case of the girl, the syndicate instructed her parents to give the money to a boy on a bicycle to be delivered to the kidnappers at an undisclosed spot near the chief’s palace at Darkuman.

He has, therefore, appealed to parents and the media to help educate children on how to deal with strangers whether in church, school and other public places.

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