Getting the beers in as they lounge under the African sun, these guests at a luxury four-star resort seem not to have a care in the world.
But they are British detectives sent to Ghana in pursuit of the suspect in the murder of EastEnders star Sian Blake and her two children – and the images of them soaking up the sun and dipping into the pool are certain to inflame the already intense criticism of the police investigation into the case.
Scotland Yard in pool position: Detective Constable Paul Lapthorn having a swim at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra
Chilling out: Det Constable Paul Lapthorn sitting to the left, Det Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn is swim suit standing/walking
Just a day earlier, their colleagues in the Metropolitan Police had been criticised in court for blunders that could have delayed the extradition of Ms Blake’s partner Arthur Simpson-Kent to Britain – and could even have led to him being freed.
But the admonishment did not seem to trouble Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn and Detective Constable Paul Lapthorn as they stripped to their swimming shorts at their £227-a-night resort.
The Met has come under fire at every stage of the investigation into the death of Ms Blake and her two sons with Simpson-Kent: Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, who were last seen in London on December 13.
Officers have been criticised for the three-week delay in digging up the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, where the bodies were found, and for letting Simpson-Kent, 48, leave the country.
Ghanaian detectives tracked down the fugitive and arrested him in his remote hideout last Saturday.
British officers failed to make it to the village of Butre, and did not contact a local cafe owner who gave them a tip-off he was there, as The Mail on Sunday, the only newspaper on the scene, revealed last week.
Simpson-Kent appeared in court in the capital, Accra, on Tuesday, when prosecutors admitted that extradition papers had not yet been drawn up as the Met ‘were taken by surprise at how quickly he was found’.
A defence lawyer argued he should be freed because the Met officers had failed to bring an arrest warrant with them, relying on an Interpol document that would be inadmissible in a British court.
Magistrate Rosemund Dodua Agyira, clearly unimpressed with the British detectives, remanded Simpson-Kent in custody in the hope that extradition papers would be complete by the time he next appears, on January 26.
It is the latest embarrassment for the Met, who are facing an Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry into their investigations, was well as criticism from their Ghanaian counterparts.
Police commissioner Prosper Kwame Agblor said last week: ‘Scotland Yard has sent us two white men who will stand out like beacons. We refused to take them with us.’
The Met officers also failed to take a statement from local Detective Constable Bright Mesedzi, who spoke to Simpson-Kent before he was handcuffed and who may be a valuable witness.
Station Commander Samuel Osei said: ‘The British police did not ask for a statement, which we thought was strange.
‘Our constable has the exact words from the accused when he was arrested.
‘What offended us further was that the British officers did not even thank us for our efforts. I suppose they still think like colonial masters. I was not impressed.’
The words did not seem to trouble the two Met officers as they relaxed at the Golden Tulip hotel, where our pictures were taken on Wednesday and Friday afternoon.