We can’t verify Regional Minister’s GH¢3,000 ransom – Police

Police have denied claims by the Western Regional Minister that he gave them a GH¢3,000 ransom to be paid to the alleged kidnappers of the 28-year-old Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the centre of the kidnapping-pregnancy saga in Takoradi.

Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, made a categorical statement on Asempa FM on Thursday, that when Josephine’s alleged kidnappers contacted the family, they demanded a GH¢1,000 ransom and he tripled the amount and gave it to the police in other to secure the release of the lady in question.

This claim was further reiterated by his aide, Justice Acquah, who also disclosed on Citi FM that his boss gave an amount of GH¢3,000 to the Regional police administration to be paid as ransom to the suspected kidnappers.

“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 GH¢3,000 given to the police through the Regional Commander. But the kidnappers initially demanded an amount of GH¢500 and increased it to a GH¢1,000,” Justice Acquahsaid in the Citi FM interview.

But responding to these claims by the Minister and his aide, the acting Director-General of Police Public Affairs, ACP Kwesi Ofori told Citi FM on Friday, September 24 that:

“We are strictly guided by the release that we have put out. Nothing of the sort came to the police administration. We cannot verify if anyone else has received that money.”

Josephine confesses of not being pregnant

Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the centre of the controversy has confirmed that she 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 woman “was never pregnant within the period under review.”

Medical records at the Takoradi Government Hospital where she claimed to have attended anti-natal care also confirmed that she was only at the facility in October 2020 without pregnancy.

The Police added that a second test at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital confirmed that the woman was not pregnant.

Following this development, police are now treating the woman, who was said to have gone missing on September 16, as a suspect.

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.”

Police detain Takoradi woman for faking her kidnapping

The Takoradi Divisional Police Command in the Western Region arrested and detained Josephine Panyin Mensah for allegedly faking her kidnapping and pregnancy.

She was discharged from the Effia-Nkwanta hospital Friday evening after she confessed to a team of medical and investigating officers that she lied about her kidnapping and pregnancy.

Several family relations and neighbours who are still in a state of disbelief were at the Takoradi central police to support the family.