Fifteen persons suspected to be behind the kidnapping of the three young women in the Western Region have been rounded up and brought to Accra.
The exercise that led to the arrest of the suspects comes on the heels of a visit to the twin city of Sekondi/Takoradi by the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah.
The visit appears to have offered the ongoing investigations a fillip; the previous efforts have failed to yield any results.
The nationalities of the suspects are not yet known but screening is expected to be done today, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
The suspects are said to have been conveyed to the various police stations in Accra pending the commencement of investigations into their backgrounds today.
The CID Boss, accompanied by the Western Regional Police Commander, DCOP Redeemer Vincent Dedjoe and other senior police officers in the region, held separate meetings with the families of the three kidnapped girls in their various homes.
The engagement with the families of the victims and the arrest of 15 persons should provide a certain level of relief to the distressed parents that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The victims include Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 15; Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21 and Ruth Love Quayson, 18.
The CID boss assured the affected relatives that the Police administration was doing everything possible to rescue the victims.
She further stated that President Akufo-Addo had instructed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu to prioritize investigations into the kidnapping cases.
The CID Chief disclosed that the Police administration had solicited British and American assistance in the investigations.
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The parents of the kidnapped victims expressed gratitude to the Police for their efforts so far in trying to rescue the victims.
They, however, called on the personnel of the law enforcement agency to do more to bring back their children and requested the services of a clinical psychologist to assist them to overcome the trauma they are suffering.
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Between the months of August and December, last year, three kidnapping cases were reported to the police in Takoradi.
The first victim, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, a third-year student of the University of Education, Winneba, lived with her parents at Diabene, near Takoradi.
She was kidnapped on August 17, 2018, at Kansaworodo.
Her parents paid a ransom of GH¢4,500 to the kidnappers, but their daughter was not freed so they later filed a complaint to the police in Takoradi.
The second victim, Ruth Love Quayson, 18, had just completed Fijai Senior High School in Sekondi and lived with her parents at Diabene, near Sekondi.
She was kidnapped on December 4, 2018, at Butumegyabu (BU) junction in Takoradi.
Her parents paid GH¢1,300 to the kidnappers before they made a report to the police.
The third victim Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 15, a first-year student of Sekondi College, lived with her parents at West Fijai, near Sekondi.
She was kidnapped on December 21, 2018, at a spot near Nkroful junction.
The parents also paid GH¢1,000 to the kidnappers before they made a report to the police.
Kidnappers’ Game Plan
According to the Western Regional Police Command, the alleged kidnappers contacted the victims several times through telephone communication and managed to strike acquaintance with them.
He added that the kidnappers even promised to offer some of the jobs and mobile phones to the victims before kidnapping them.
One Suspect Arrested
On December 22, 2018, at about 4 am, the accused person, Samuel Udoetuk Wills, a 28-year-old Nigerian national, was arrested in connection with the kidnappings.
He was arrested from his hideout on the outskirts of Kansaworodo, near Takoradi through intensive investigations by the police.
According to the police, catalogues of calls between the accused and the victims were analyzed and police established his link to the three cases.
The Police claimed the suspect gave several leads to the police but when the police followed up they were found to be false.
The Regional Police Commander disclosed that on December 24, 2018, the accused was put before the District Magistrate Court in Takoradi and was remanded in police custody to assist in investigations.
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DCOP Dedjoe indicated that on December 30, 2018, at about 6:25 pm, while the accused was in police cells, he managed to escape through one of the ventilation windows of the cells.
“He used a hacksaw blade to cut the 5/8 iron rods used to secure the ventilation windows and escaped,” he added.
He continued: “On January 3, 2019, the police recaptured the accused at Kansaworodo in an uncompleted building.
A search conducted near the building where he was recaptured revealed the dress, headgear and the rubber slippers of the third victim, Priscilla Koranchie.”
Meanwhile, there are fears that a first-year student of Tarkwa Senior High School (TARSCO) in the Western Region has also been kidnapped by unknown persons.
According to reports, Augustina Ndaago, who hails from the Upper West Region, was seen in the school last Wednesday.
GOB learnt that on Wednesday at about 9:00 am, the student filled an exeat form and indicated that she was going to visit her parents who resided in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the region.
However, as at Friday, the whereabouts of Augustina Ndaago could not be traced.
Last Friday, the headmistress of the school, Paulina Manu confirmed the story in a statement she signed.
A 26-year-old man, Kasim Suleman, has been re-arrested at the border town of Elubo in the region for allegedly abducting a 17-year-old girl in the area.
DSP Olivia Adiku, Regional Police Public Relations Officer, told DAILY GUIDE that the suspect had been detained for further investigations.
At about 7am on Saturday, one Pastor John Ackon of Light House Worldwide Ministry at Elubo arrested the suspect and conveyed him to the Police Station with the assistance of four persons.