Security forces rescued two Canadian women who were abducted in Ghana earlier this month and arrested eight people in connection with their kidnapping, authorities said on Wednesday.
Ghanaian Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah denied that the abductors had been paid off, saying “there was no mention or discussion of ransom” during the rescue operation.
Police later arrested five Ghanaian nationals and three Nigerians in Kumasi, Ghana’’s second-largest city.
Guillaume Berube, spokesman for Global Affairs Canada, said the government was “very relieved” that the women had been released. No further details would be shared in order to protect their privacy, he said.
Kidnappings for ransom have been all too common for years in Nigeria, and officials in Ghana say they are on the rise there too.
Ghana has long been considered one of the least dangerous countries in West Africa, but the women’s abductions marked the second time in a month that foreigners had been targeted in Kumasi. A previous rescue effort freed an Indian national.
The information minister maintained that Ghana remained safe for foreign travelers.
“The country’s risk profile has not changed,” he said.