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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Six picked over bank MD's abduction

The police have arrested six persons suspected to have kidnapped the Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Ghana, Mr Albert Mmegwa, four months after his abduction on April 6, 2009.

Although the bank had earlier denied paying any ransom for his release, the police confirmed yesterday that $100,000 had been paid as ransom before Mr Mmegwa was released on April 8, 2009.

The Police Administration has also requested the Military High Command to apprehend some soldiers whose names have been mentioned for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping.

Those in custody are Moses Ayuba, 32, alias Chairman, who is alleged to be the kingpin of the gang; Mark Benad, 24, Abdulai Mohammed Takai, 33, all Nigerians, and Foster Senu, 27, Samuel Eklu, 24, and George Adjei, all Ghanaians.

Narrating the kidnapping incident at a news the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Frank Adu-Poku, told a news conference in Accra yesterday that Mr Mmegwa was kidnapped while he was on his way to his house about 8.00 p.m. on April 6, 2009.

He said persons said to be in military uniform showed him a letter purported to be coming from the Military High Command and invited Mr Mmegwa for “a discussion”.

Mr Adu-Poku said while the MD was going with his abductors, he was blindfolded and taken through town before leading him to an unidentified place where he was held hostage.

He said the MD arranged for the ransom to be paid before he was released two days later.

He explained that initial information received by the police indicated that $50,000 had been paid but investigations later established that $100,000 was paid.

Mr Adu-Poku said unknown to the criminals, who might have thought that they had hit a jackpot, the police put two high-profile investigators of the Intelligence Unit of the Critical Intelligence and Response Team (CIRT) to bring the perpetrators to book.

He said the first suspect, George Adjei, was arrested on July 31, 2009 and it was he who led the police to arrest Samuel Eklu, described as the link man of the kidnappers.

According to him, Eklu then led the police to arrest the remaining suspects. He said Foster Senu allegedly told the police that a Toyota Corrola taxi, with registration number GR 4809-09, which was retrieved from him had been bought for him by Chairman as his (Senu’s) share of the deal.

Mr Adu-Poku said the investigative process might be slow but explained that the police always wanted to be cautious and professional.

“I feel very fulfilled with the success of my men who made this operation successful,” he said.

He recognised the contribution of the media and members of the public, saying that fighting crime was a shared responsibility and not the preserve of the police alone.

Story : Albert K. Salia/Daily Graphic

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