Canadians identified, safe after abduction in Ghana

Jackie writer

The two Canadian women who were rescued Wednesday, after being abducted in Ghana last week have been identified.

Youth Challenge International, the Toronto-based non-profit organization the women were working with in Ghana, says Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty are safe and unhurt following their ordeal.

“Bailey and Lauren are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home,” the statement posted to their website on Wednesday read.

The organization said the parents of both women have been in contact with their daughters and are grateful to Ghanaian police and government, and the Canadian government for their actions.

Ghanaian police rescued the young women, aged 19 and 20, early Wednesday morning in the country’s south-central Ashanti Region, according to the Ministry of Information. They were abducted in Kumasi, the country’s second-largest city, on June 4.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said the government was “relieved” to confirm the women have been released.

“We would like to thank the Government of Ghana for their cooperation in the resolution of this case,” the statement said. “Consular officials are providing assistance to the Canadians and their families.”

The spokesperson said they wouldn’t disclose further information regarding the women’s “harrowing experiences.”

Jonathan Ofori, Northern Sector Editor for Daily Mail GH, told CTV News Channel the morning raid took place in Achiase, which is located approximately 150 kilometres southeast of Kumasi. He said the two Canadians have already been flown from the Ashanti Region to Ghana’s national security headquarters in the capital of Accra.

Ofori also said 10 to 14 suspects were arrested in the raid that led to the women’s rescue.

Ghana’s Information Ministry has tried to reassure travellers that the West African nation remains safe following a recent spate of kidnappings for ransom. In April, an Indian businessman was abducted in Kumasi and rescued by police within 24 hours.

Ofori said an Estonian consular-general was kidnapped on his way to work in Accra. He was rescued a day later.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press