The rescue of the kidnapped Canadian ladies – Bailey Jordan Chitty and Lauren Patricia Tilley – could have triggered disaster had a grenade found on the kidnappers been detonated.
Emerging details after the operation indicated that the kidnappers had a grenade in their arsenal, and perhaps they were ready to detonate it to protect their den.
The possession of the grenade is sufficient evidence that they were not ready to release their quarries without a fight. This became evident when they started firing upon seeing the security personnel who stormed their location on Wednesday dawn.
The grenade at the scene
Besides the grenade, they had an assortment of firearms which were, of course, kept for defensive and offensive purposes.
Police officers from the Ashanti Regional Police CID in Kumasi were shocked to find the grenade in the house where the two ladies were kept.
During a thorough search in the house on Wednesday afternoon – some few hours after the ladies were rescued – the police were able to discover the kidnappers' arsenal.
Representatives of the military, police, BNI and national security operatives, led by Col Michael Opoku, were met with gunfire when the kidnappers spotted them. To protect the ladies from harm, the security personnel chose not to fire back.
About 14 people, including Nigerians with Fulani extraction and Ghanaians, were arrested on Wednesday for kidnapping the two Canadian ladies in Kumasi.
Among the apprehended people was one Seidu, affectionately called 'MBA', who is said to be a hardened criminal domiciled in Kumasi.
The suspects were flown in a military plane from the Kumasi Airport to Accra on Wednesday to assist the security agencies in their investigations.