Uber driver arrested as Ghanaian police search for kidnapped Canadians

Ghanaian police have begun a search for the two Canadian women announced missing on Thursday. Except for the arrest of their Uber driver, there has been no clue yet, according to reports.

Kidnapping is a rarity in Ghana and the Kumasi abduction at a golf club appears to be a big embarrassment for the authorities, more so as it was the second incident in the country’s largest city, after Accra, the capital.

In April, an Indian was reportedly abducted by an armed gang demanding a cash ransom. He was swiftly rescued by police.

The Canadians, Bailen Chitty, 19 years and Lauren Patricia Catherine, 20 years are charity volunteers. They were taken on Tuesday evening, David Eklu, the assistant commissioner of police said in a statement.

“Police Command is investigating a complaint of kidnapping at Ahodwo, Kumasi Royal Golf Club, at 8:25 pm on 4 June, 2019, where two women of Canadian nationality were kidnapped,” Eklu said.

“Investigation started immediately upon receipt of the complaint, and the security agencies are working closely together to get them rescued, and the perpetrators arrested,” the statement added.

Eklu said the two kidnapped women had been travelling in an Uber with a third Canadian woman.

When they reached their destination, the pair got out of the taxi first and were taken, he said.

The third woman then went to alert the police with the Uber driver.

“When the Uber driver saw the action, he drove off with the third lady” to inform the police, he said.

The police did not release the names of the women and said it was working closely with the Canadian embassy to try to locate them.

They described the pair as volunteers with a group called Youth Challenge International, a Canadian international development organisation headquartered in Toronto.

The group works in 16 countries across South America, Africa and Asia, working to support development projects for young people in areas such as health, education and employment.

“The general public is urged to assist the police by volunteering information,” Eklu added.

Security sources suggested this was a kidnapping for ransom.

Abductions and violent crime towards foreigners are rare in Ghana.


(Ladun Liadi)

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