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27.10.2008 General News

Mossad Chases Kidnappers To Accra

By Daily Guide

The highly rated Israeli intelligence organization, Mossad, is dispatching a crack team to come and assist their Ghanaian counterparts to unravel the mystery surrounding a kidnapped Israeli, Ehud Avni, in the country.

DAILY GUIDE can confirm that the team would touch down anytime soon to assist Ghanaian intelligence operatives to address the challenge.

The kidnap story which has already found space in bulletins of major international media like Aljazeera, happened a week or so ago but Ghanaian intelligence are on top of the matter, DAILY GUIDE has gathered.

A taskforce, set up by the National Security Council has made important headway in the matter, details of which are being kept under wraps.

The kidnappers had earlier contacted the relatives of the victim in Israeli for a ransom, a development described by Ghana's National Security Coordinator, Dr. Sam Amoo as criminal.

Kidnap cases, he said earlier, are handled confidentially, adding that the matter has taken an open dimension because the Israelis themselves put it out on the public domain through the media.

Israeli interests in Ghana are handled by her mission in Nigeria and it is this office which alerted local authorities here about the development.

In Israel the influential The Jerusalem Post, reports that an Israeli businessman in his sixties has been kidnapped in Ghana and his captors are demanding a $300,000 ransom for his release.

The newspaper, citing reports Friday, said the Foreign Ministry was coordinating with the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria to secure the man's release, since Israel has no representation in Ghana.

Negotiations were being conducted via the Israeli's business partner, who first reported the kidnapping, which took place three days ago.

On August 26, Ehud Avni, a businessman from Ra'anana, was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He was released on September 1 after a ransom was apparently paid to his kidnappers.

Last week, 13 Israeli project supervisors were trapped on an isolated Caribbean island by disgruntled Chinese construction workers who are owed wages.

Meanwhile, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reports that a taskforce comprising the various security agencies set up by the National Security Council has begun an intensive search for the whereabouts of the man.

Dr Sam Amoo, National Security Coordinator, told the GNA in Accra Friday that the kidnappers contacted the relatives of the businessman in Israel for an initial ransom of $500,000 but later reduced it to $300,000.

 He said the relatives informed the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria, which also informed the Ghanaian security authorities.

Dr Amoo said the taskforce started investigations on Monday and are working around the clock to free the businessman.

By A.R. Gomda

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