Canadian girls' rescue: No ransom negotiations occurred - Baako backs gov't
The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper has revealed that kidnappers of the two Canadian ladies did not negotiate a ransom with the Ghanaian government.
Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako disclosed that there actually was the involvement of an insurance team from the United Kingdom who came with the mandate to examine the option of paying a ransom.
He told host Evans Mensah on MultiTV/Joy FM’s news analysis show, Newsfile, Saturday that there was only one external security official who travelled to Ghana to explore ways of assisting rescue the Canadians.
“There were no negotiations between the Ghana government or Ghanaian security and the kidnappers relative to ransom. Nothing of that sort happened…indeed this UK people that came were interested in negotiating anything relating to ransom,” he said.
Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako is renowned for having access to confidential information and deep knowledge of behind-the-scenes negotiations.
According to him, nothing concerning ransom even got the chance to be discussed with the kidnappers, not with the government or those who flew in from abroad.
Following the rescue of Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20, at an abandoned apartment in Sawaba, a suburb of Kumasi, there were rumours that some Canadians experts that arrived in the country assisted in their rescue on June 10, 2019.
Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20
The ladies had been kidnapped since June 4.
However, during a press conference on the rescue operation, the Minister sought to reject the claims government rescued the two Canadians with external assistance.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah was categorical at the press conference that the entire operation was executed by a team of local professional security officials drawn from the Bureau for National Investigations and the counter-terrorism squad.
It has emerged that the suspected kidnappers who held two Canadian women captive in Kumasi demanded $800,000 from their families as a ransom for their release.
This came to light when six of the suspects were put before the Accra High Court on Friday.
“In order to create an impression to their families that they had been seriously tortured, the 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 the same to their families in Canada to compel them to pay a ransom of $800,000,” the Prosecutor told the court.
But Mr Baako said this there were no negotiations between the Ghana government or Ghanaian security and the kidnappers.
“The Canadian person who came [the security coordinator for Canada in charge of the West African region and based in Morrocco] was in Ghana a day before the rescue operation.
“He had practically no role to play and indeed when the rescue happened he was surprised and went to the national security to express his gratitude,” stated.
The veteran journalist said the Information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, was right when he told journalists on Wednesday that there was no external asset in the rescue of the two ladies.