The personal assistant to the Western Regional Minister, Justice Acquah, has disclosed that an amount of GHS 3,000 was given to the Regional police administration to be paid as ransom to the suspected kidnappers in the controversial Takoradi Kidnapping-Pregnancy saga.
The money was paid by the Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko for the release of Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the centre of the brouhaha.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Justice Acquah, said that the payment of the ransom by the police was made in collaboration with the mother of the woman.
“At the point of the payment, the mother was collaborating with the police to find the exact location of the woman. The Minister gave the money to the police to give to the kidnappers because he wanted to get to the bottom of the matter. It was an amount of GHS 3,000 given to the police through the Regional Commander. But the kidnappers initially demanded an amount of GHS 500 and increased it to a GHS 1,000”
Woman never pregnant
Already police have said the Takoradi woman who supposedly went missing before she was found, was never pregnant, as her family had claimed.
In a statement issued on Thursday, September 23, 2021, Police said a thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital revealed that the missing woman “was never pregnant within the period under review.”
Following this development, police are now treating the woman, who was said to have gone missing on September 16, as a suspect, in the case.
After being found at Axim on September 21, Josephine’s family said she had lost the baby during the period she was missing.
Police also said, “she may have conspired with other persons over her possible planned disappearance.”
Three people have also been arrested for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges following this development.
According to police, Josephine said she attended the European Hospital in Takoradi for the antenatal reviews and assessment.
But Medical records at the facility suggest that the lady visited the hospital without pregnancy somewhere in October 2020.
The police conclusion comes after a similar assertion by the Western Regional Minister sparked controversy.
The Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said his information was based on a preliminary security report he had from the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
But Josephine’s husband, Michael Simmons, insisted that his wife was carrying a pregnancy.
The police also raised concern with the incidence of staged kidnappings in the Western Region “where people conspire to create “self-kidnapping” incidents to make money out of ransoms.”
“A team with support from the National Headquarters has been put together to quell this emerging crime in the Western Region.” – CNR