Three arrested over ‘pregnant’ woman kidnapping; victim now a suspect

Police in Takoradi in the Western Region have arrested three persons for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges in relation to the alleged kidnapping of 28-year-old pregnant woman, Josephine Panyin Mensah. 

In a statement on Thursday, September 23, the police said, Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman who went missing after going for a routine dawn walk on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in Takoradi was now a suspect in the case.

“Three people have so far been arrested for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges. Investigations also suggest the [victim] may have conspired with other persons over her possible planned disappearance,” the statement noted.

“The victim, now a suspect, during interrogation mentioned the European Hospital in Takoradi as the hospital for her antenatal reviews and assessment. Medical records at the facility suggest that the lady visited the hospital without pregnancy somewhere in October last year,” the police added.

“Investigations also suggest the suspect may have conspired with other persons over her possible planned disappearance,” the statement said.

Preliminary investigation into the case                                                   

According to the police, following the reappearance of Ms Mensah on Tuesday, September 21, she was sent to the hospital for medical attention and examination.

The police have said that their findings noted that Ms Mensah “was never pregnant within the period under review, following thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital.”

Before the reports from the police, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah, had said preliminary investigation and examination by doctors proved that Josephine Panyin Mensah was never pregnant.

“Information available to me from national security and doctors indicates that the ’missing but found woman’ was never pregnant and there was no mark of assault too on her,” he said.

“The [National Investigations Bureau] sent me a report that she has been found and was receiving treatment at the Axim Government Hospital, however, their preliminary investigation and examination shows that she was never pregnant as has been reported. They suspect that this whole story was fabricated,” he added.

READ ALSO: Kidnapped Takoradi Woman: ‘We Don’t Trust Doctors At Axim Hospital’ – Family Of Victim

However, the husband of the victim, Michael Simmons, refuted the claims by the Regional Minister, insisting that his wife was pregnant prior to her abduction.

“My wife was nine months pregnant, and so she moved in with her mum because her delivery date was due prior to the kidnapping incident. I am very worried about the rumours making rounds and I want to halt the interview to process my thoughts,” he Accra-based Citi FM.

Police worried over fake kidnapping in Western Region

The Police Command in the Western region has given the assurance that they have revised their strategies to ensure enhanced protection of people in the region, and the rest of the country.

Nonetheless, the police have raised concern over a worrying trend in the region in the last few years, where people conspire with others to kidnap them.

“More worrying is the fact that for a number of years, the Regional Command has recorded several false kidnapping cases where people conspire to create “self-kidnapping” incidents to make money out of ransoms,” the police said.

The Command noted that, “a team with support from the National Headquarters has been put together to quell this emerging crime in the Western Region.”

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