The two young Canadian women rescued from their kidnappers in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana, are unhurt and on “emotional and psychological support,” Youth Challenge International (YCI), the NGO handling them has said in a statement.
“Early this morning Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty were rescued by Ghanaian police. They are safe and both the police and the government of Ghana are ensuring the young women’s protection in Ghana,” YCI said, adding that the ladies have spoken to their parents via phone.
“The parents of both young women have been in contact with their daughters and at this time wish to express their extreme gratitude to the Ghanaian police, the Ghanaian government and the Canadian government for all their support and actions throughout this extremely difficult time.
“Bailey and Lauren are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home. Medical reports are that they are both physically unhurt. At this time, we are unable to comment on the police actions, the rescue or the perpetrators of the abduction.
“We kindly ask all media to respect the families’ privacy. Youth Challenge International and Canada World Youth have been closely supporting the families throughout and will be the point of contact for all media enquiries,” the NGO said.
They were freed in the early hours of Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at Sawaba, Kumasi.
Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley is 19 and Bailey Jordan Chitty is 20.
It is not yet clear how they were rescued but Ghana’s security authorities have picked up two suspects for questioning while two others are on the run.
A statement issued by Ghana’s Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said: “Details of the operation and ongoing efforts to ensure that similar incidents are successfully resolved will be made available in a subsequent press briefing scheduled for 15 GMT today.”
The statement assured all Ghanaian citizens and foreigners that “Ghana remains safe”.
The kidnapping of the Canadians in Kumasi followed another kidnapping incident in the same city involving an Indian businessman, who fought his attackers and fled to safety with the help of the local police.
Also, in Ghana’s oil-rich city of Takoradi, Western Region, three Ghanaian ladies have been kidnapped since August last year and have still not been found.
They are 18-year-old Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, last seen on 21 December 2018; 21-year-old Priscilla Blessing Bentum, last seen on 17 August 2018; and 18-year-old Ruth Love Quayson, last seen on 4 December 2018.
The Director-General of Ghana’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah told the media a couple of months ago that they security agencies knew the whereabouts of the girls and were working to rescue them.
After a month of making that statement, she made a U-turn, saying she only made the comment to give hope to the Ghana Police Service as far as finding the girls is concerned.
The families of the three girls have held several demonstrations and filed several petitions to the presidency and security agencies to no avail.