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General News of Monday, 17 June 2019

Source: thefinderonline.com

Negotiators opposed rescue of kidnapped Canadian girls fearing their death

It has emerged that representatives of a life insurance company from the United Kingdom who were in Ghana to negotiate the release of the two kidnapped Canadian ladies were opposed to any attempt to rescue them by Ghana’s security services.

Life insurance policy

Before travelling to Ghana, the families of the two ladies took a life insurance policy against kidnapping; therefore, representatives of the company were in Ghana to negotiate and pay ransom for their safe release.

Opposition to rescue kidnapped Canadians

Information gathered by The Finder indicates that the representatives argued that from their experience, rescue attempts, in most cases, lead to death of victims because kidnappers prefer to kill their victims and take their own lives as against being arrested.

Praises for Ghana security

Therefore, the successful rescue is seen as a huge achievement by Ghana’s security services.

Kidnappers demanded $800,000

The kidnappers contacted the victims' families in Canada and began to negotiate a ransom of $800,000, and the families relayed the information to the representatives of the insurance company who were in Ghana, and they offered $47,000 instead, but it was rejected by the kidnappers.

CCTV footage of a nearby house captured kidnapping

But, even before the representatives of the insurance company arrived in Ghana, security agencies laid hands on a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of a nearby house which captured the kidnapping.

CCTV footage not clear enough

The footage was not clear, so officials of the Canadian High Commission offered to help enhance it.

Role of Canadian High Commission

However, when they brought their enhanced footage, the number plate of the vehicle was still not clear.

Ghana’s security agencies successfully enhanced CCTV footage

Ghana’s security agencies, therefore, enhanced the CCTV footage again and were able to see the registration number of the vehicle used.

DVLA helped to identify owner of the car used

A check at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) revealed that the Toyota Corolla used to kidnap Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilly belonged to one Abdul Raman Suleiman.

Owner of the car arrested

Consequently, security agencies picked up Abdul Raman Suleiman, who operates a car rental company at Aboabo, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, on Tuesday evening around 11pm.

Canadian security expert arrives in Ghana

Shortly after Abdul Raman Suleiman was arrested, a Canadian security expert based in Morocco and responsible for Africa arrived in Ghana.

Owner of the car mentioned Yusif Yakubu who rented the car

According to the information, Abdul Raman Suleiman told the security officers that Yusif Yakubu rented the vehicle on the day of the incident.

Yusif Yakubu returned rented car with bullet hole

He explained that when Yusif Yakubu returned the vehicle, there was a bullet hole in the roof.

As a result, Abdul Raman Suleiman said he insisted that Yusif Yakubu should take the car to the workshop and fix the problem before returning it to him.



The role of Seidu Abubakar

According to information, Abdul Raman Suleiman said during exchange of words, Yusif Yakubu went and pleaded with Seidu Abubakar, who is popular in the area, to intervene.

He is said to have told security personnel that Seidu Abubakar claimed that he sent Yusif Yakubu to rent the vehicle and should, therefore, fix the car and Yusif Yakubu would refund the cost later.

Yusif Yakubu arrested

Based on this intelligence, sources told The Finder that security personnel also arrested Seidu Abubakar, who led them to apprehend Yusif Yakubu.

Yusif Yakubu led security agencies location of kidnapped girls

According to the information, Yusif Yakubu led the security agencies to the hideout where the kidnapped ladies were being kept.

National Security team arrested kidnappers

A National Security team, headed by Colonel Michael Opoku, proceeded to arrest Sampson Aghalor, Elvis Ojiyorwe, and Jeff Omarsar from their hideouts at Kenyasi-Krobo.

Elvis and Jeff threatened to kill the victims

During the rescue mission, Elvis and Jeff threatened to kill the victims if the security agents dared them.

Exchanged of fire

They exchanged fire with the security agents until they were overpowered and arrested.

Sampson is the kingpin of the kidnappers

Sampson, said to be the kingpin of the kidnappers, was hiding in a hotel and visited the victims, who were always guarded by two of the kidnappers.

Consequently, Sampson was not aware that security forces have rescued the victims around 5:50am.

Therefore, at 6am, he called the families of the girls and representatives of the insurance company to negotiate the amount down from $800,000 to $500,000, but the families and negotiators insisted on $47,000.

Security personnel, subsequently, arrested him.



How Sampson started it all

Investigations revealed that sometime in March 2019 Sampson, who had been in Ghana for some time, struck acquaintance with Yusif, and the two became friends.

In the course of the friendship, Sampson discussed the idea of engaging in kidnapping with Yusif, who agreed to assist him in the nefarious activity. Yusif then assisted Sampson to procure a pistol.

In furtherance of the plan to engage in kidnapping, Sampson went to Nigeria and recruited Elvis and Jeff to Ghana sometime in May 2019.

According to information, Sampson, Elvis, and Jeff stayed in Ashaiman for a few days on arrival in Ghana and proceeded to Kumasi, where they met up with Yusif.

Whilst in Kumasi, the four held discussions on how to proceed with their kidnapping activities.

Sampson, who was the financier of the criminal gang, gave Yusif money to rent a vehicle, an apartment in a secluded area outside town, and two pistols and ammunition for their activities.

On June 4, 2019, Yusif contacted a car rental company at Aboabo, owned by one Abdul Raman Suliemana, and rented a Toyota Corolla saloon car at a cost of GH?400.

In the evening of the same day, the four accused persons, on board the vehicle, went round in search of victims.

Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilly, who are Canadian nationals, were in Kumasi to participate in a youth programme organised by Youth Challenge International.

The two ladies boarded an Uber to their hostel at Nhyiaeso, behind the Vienna hotel, and were accosted by the accused persons when they arrived at their destination and alighted from the car.



The four accused persons assaulted the victims and forced them into their vehicle amid shooting to scare off people and some of the bullets hit the roof of the vehicle.

They then sped off with the victims to their hideout, where they kept the victims in an uncompleted building at Kenyasi-Krobo, a suburb of Kumasi, guarded by Elvis and Jeff.

Sampson seized the phones of the victims and used them to contact the victims' families in Canada and began to negotiate a ransom of $800,000.

In order to create an impression to their families that they had been seriously tortured, the four accused persons smeared blood all over the victims and on the floor of the building.

They took pictures of the blood-soaked victims and forwarded same to their families in Canada to compel them to pay the ransom of $800,000.

On Friday, six persons accused of kidnapping the two Canadian nationals in Kumasi were remanded when they appeared before an Accra High Court.

The court, presided over by Justice George Buadi, remanded all six into police custody at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) Headquarters to reappear on July 1, 2019.

Their pleas were, however, not taken as investigations continue.