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General News Thu, 1 Nov 2007

Irish hostage rescued in Ghana

... Victim of 419
A 49-year-old Irishman has been dramatically rescued from a failed ransom attempt.

James Lafferty was freed on Wednesday morning when police raided a hotel in Accra where he was being held captive.


He was kidnapped last week and held for around five days while his captors demanded money for his release.


Following an international police operation involving Interpol, Irish and Ghanaian police, local officers moved in after a tip-off and freed him. One man was arrested.


It is understood the kidnap gang were unarmed.


Mr Lafferty travelled to Ghana last week after he apparently became embroiled in an email fraud scam, a.k.a 419, and was taken hostage. He was attempting to recover money he had paid into the investment trap but was taken hostage in the hotel room as kidnappers contacted family and business associates back in Ireland demanding more money.


The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed consular assistance is being provided to Mr Lafferty.


"He is currently safe and well in the Honorary Consulate in Accra after being freed by local police," a spokesman said.


"He is due to meet with local police to provide them with additional information regarding his detention"


Consular officials are also arranging for his return to Ireland.
Source: Irsih Times/GHP