By Daniel WOOTTON & Selorm GBORBIDZI, Accra
Out of 58 confirmed cases of kidnapping, abduction and missing persons recorded last year, 23 were either found or rescued.
This means 35 Ghanaians who were either kidnapped, abducted or went missing are yet to be found.
Investigations revealed that out of the 64 complaints lodged by the public, 23 amounts to kidnappings, 28 being classified as abductions, seven were missing persons while six of the complaints turned out to be false.
Statistics compiled by the Ghana Police Service indicate that six out of the 23 kidnapped people were rescued while 17 people who were either abducted or went missing were also found.
Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) George Tweneboah noted that, averagely, more than one kidnapping case per week across all of Ghana’s regions was recorded.
According to him, 11 suspected kidnappers were arrested, out of which four are currently on remand.
He said one kidnapper has, however, been convicted and sentenced to a 10-year jail term.
Giving a regional breakdown of the situation, he said 29 cases were reported in Accra, with one person rescued.
Most of the cases were abductions, not kidnappings.
In Ashanti, two cases of kidnapping were reported to the police. Three victims were rescued while three suspects were arrested, with one person convicted.
In Tema, four reports were made, with two victims rescued and one person remanded.
In the Eastern Region, six reports were made to the police. Seven victims were found, with three suspects arrested and one person remanded.
In the Central Region, two reports were made to the police and two victims were found.
In the Volta Region, one report was made to the police. The victim was rescued and one suspect was arrested.
In the Western Region, five kidnappings were reported to the police and four victims were found.
In the Brong Ahafo Region, four kidnapping cases were reported to the police. Two victims were found by the police while three suspects are before court.
In the Upper East Region, one case was reported to the police while one victim was found.
In the Upper West Region, four cases were reported, with investigation ongoing.
Meanwhile, eight cases have been reported at the Police Headquarters.
ACP Tweneboah outlined what was being done to help prevent kidnappings in future, with “intensification of foot and mobile patrols” being listed as a priority. He spoke of the benefits of public education in preventing kidnapping, and also said that an informal reward system is in place for those who come forward with information that would aid investigation.
The Deputy Director-General spoke about murder investigations, and stressed that these can often take a longer period to solve. He discussed the recent murder of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, and reported to the media that some persons of interest have been interviewed, with statements obtained. He said that evidence gathered was currently under forensic investigation, as well as an official incentive package for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
The focus of the Ghana Police Service has in recent months shifted to abductions and kidnappings since news about three young women missing in the Western Region since the latter part of 2018 first broke.
The police have, subsequently, picked up a Nigerian suspect, Sam Udoetek Wills, who broke out of police custody on December 20, 2018. He was, subsequently, rearrested in Accra following a manhunt.
This week, he caused a stir when he revealed in open court that a CID officer had aided him in his escape from custody. This revelation has compelled the police to constitute a committee to investigate his claims.
ACP Tweneboah announced that reported cases of robbery across Ghana were at a five-year low.
According to him, despite a peak in January 2018 of 194 reported robberies, this January produced the lowest figures since January 2015, with 73 robberies reported – just under 38% of last year’s figure.
ACP Tweneboah explained that the police received 64 complaints said to be kidnapping from the public.
Source: The Finder