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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Police foil kidnapping attempt by robbers

Two persons who were kidnapped by a gang of armed robbers in the house of a traditional priest at Okorase, near Koforidua, after attacking his family, have been rescued by the Eastern Regional Police Command at Nankese, also near Koforidua.

The two kidnapped persons, Eric Amponsah 34, son of the traditional priest, Mr Emmanuel Sarpong of Nana Hiamankyene, and his driver, Enoch Addo, 26, were assaulted before they were dragged away, the police said.

The suspects, three of whom are now in the grip of the police, also took away Mr Sarpong’s green and yellow coloured taxicab, with registration number ER 418 - 16.

The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Ebenezer Tetteh, said the suspects, Kwadwo Asare, 22, and Fatawu Lukeman, 27, were arrested during the rescue operation.

According to DSP Tetteh, Mr Sarpong lodged a complaint with the police that on June 22, 2019 about 11:41am, he received a call from his wife that a gang of about eight young men armed with machetes, axes and other offensive weapons, on board a mini-bus, attacked his household, broke into his room and made away with his 42-inch flat screen television set worth GH¢1,800, three sound speakers valued at GH¢1,500 and one Sound power amplifier also valued at GH¢800.

The suspects caused damage to his sliding glass door and window, and two wooden doors all valued at GH¢3,550.

They also made away with his cash of GH¢14,000.

The chase

“Upon receipt of the complaint, police circulated information to all checkpoints to be on the lookout for the culprits.

“The police had information that the suspects drove towards the Mangoase road. They were pursued but there were no traces,” DSP Tetteh said.

He said the kidnappers called on phone and demanded GH¢40,000 ransom from him for the release of the victims.

The kidnappers also forced one of the victims, Enoch Addo, to call his brother to send money for his release. His brother could only send GH¢700, but after the kidnappers received the money they did not release their victim.

Later, police gathered information to the effect that the suspects drove through Nankese to an unknown destination.

However, last Sunday, about 6.30, operatives of the Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and other personnel acted upon intelligence and moved to Ayisikrom in the forest near Nankese for a rescue operation.

The kidnappers renewed the demand for more ransom from the complainant. The ransom demanded was reduced to GH¢37,000. “The taxicab belonging to Mr Sarpong was found abandoned in the forest and was retrieved,” DSP?Tetteh said.

Collaboration

The PRO?said the police rescue team employed the assistance of the village folks within Ayisikrom and the surrounding villages during a search in the forest, following a lead found when the taxicab was retrieved.

Around 3 p.m., he said, the search team encountered the eight kidnappers with the victims.

The two victims were rescued and two of the kidnappers arrested,” he said.

According to him, the remaining six kidnappers managed to escape due to the terrain in the forest.

“Suspect Kwadwo Asare sustained injuries during his arrest by the youth who were part of the search team.

Police rushed him to Koforidua Central Hospital where he is currently on admission.

After the arrest, the suspects led the police to an uncompleted building on the outskirts of Ayisikrom, from where all the items stolen from the house of the complainant were retrieved,” DSP Tetteh stated.

He said the two suspects arrested were both recruited for that kidnapping operation by their leader known only as "Igboman", who allegedly came to reside in Ayisikrom recently.

“Suspect Fantawu Lukeman is in custody, while injured suspect, Kwadwo Asare, is under police guard at the Central Hospital, Koforidua.”