UPDATE ON THE KIDNAPPING CASES WITHIN SEKONDI-TAKORADI METROPOLIS

UPDATE ON THE KIDNAPPING CASES WITHIN SEKONDI-TAKORADI METROPOLIS

Police re-assures the public, particularly, families of the victims to remain hopeful as we employ all the necessary resources to rescue the victims.

BRIEF FACTS
The Western Regional Command received three (3) kidnapping cases between August and December 2018 with brief facts as follows:
In the first reported case, victim Priscilla Blessing Bentum, aged 21 and a third year student of University of Education, Winneba lives with the parents at Diabene, a suburb of Takoradi. She was kidnapped on 17 August 2018 at Kansaworodo. Her parents had earlier paid a ransom of GH¢4,500.00 to the kidnappers with the hope of their daughter being released by the kidnappers, but they refused to release her. Consequently, a report was made to Police Market Circle, Takoradi.
The second victim Ruth Love Quayson, aged 18 has completed Fijai Senior High School and lives with the parents at Diabene. She was kidnapped on 4 December 2018 at Butumegyabu Junction popularly known as BU Junction in Takoradi. Her parents had already paid a ransom of GH¢1,300.00 to the captors before they made a report to the Police.
The third victim Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, aged 15 is a first year student of Sekondi College. She lives with the parents at West Fijai, a suburb of Takoradi. She was kidnapped on 21 December 2018 at a spot near Nkroful Junction in Takoradi. The parents had also paid a ransom of GH¢1,000.00 to the kidnappers before they made a report to the Police.

POLICE ACTIONS
On 22 December 2018, Police arrested Samuel Udoetuk Wills, a Nigerian aged 28 from his hideout at the outskirt of Kansaworodo, a suburb of Takoradi. Catalogues of calls between the accused person and the victims were analyzed and Police established connections of the accused to the three (3) kidnapped cases.
Police have retrieved some gadgets from the accused for evidential purposes and same have been forwarded to the CID Headquarters, Accra for analysis. Through interrogation, the suspect gave several leads to the Police on the whereabouts of the kidnap victims but when Police followed the leads, they were found to be false. Suspect also mentioned that four persons are involved in the kidnapping and Police have made and still making strenuous efforts to identify, track and capture these persons but have not been successful as yet.
On 24 December 2018, the accused was put before the District Magistrate Court, Takoradi and was remanded into Police custody for investigations to reappear on 9 January 2019.

SUSPECT’S ESCAPE FROM POLICE CELLS AND RECAPTURING
On 30 December 2018 at about 6.25pm, while the suspect 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 he escaped through it.
On 3 January 2019, Police recaptured the suspect at Kansaworodo, Takoradi in an uncompleted building. A search conducted around the building where he was recaptured revealed the dress, the head gear and the rubber slippers the third victim wore when she was kidnapped. This clue gave the Police a strong belief that, the suspect is connected to the crime.
While the kidnapping cases continue to be investigated, suspect was arraigned before court on charges of Escaping from Lawful Custody, Causing Unlawful Damage to the Police Cells and Resisting Arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all the counts and the trial is ongoing.

MODUS OPERANDI
In all the instances where the accused kidnapped the three (3) victims, it was observed that, he struck acquaintances with the victims for some time. The accused contacted the victims several times through mobile phone chats. He promised to secure jobs for the first and second victims while he promised to procure a mobile phone for the third victim.

THE WAY FORWARD
Police is employing every possible effort to rescue the kidnapped victims. Efforts are also being made to arrest any other person involved in the kidnap. The general public is urged to come forward with credible information leading to the rescue of the victims. The public, particularly, parents of the victims are to stay hopeful as Police is working around the clock to rescue the victims.