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An armed man wearing a Canadian combat uniform arrested in Africa for pretending to be a Canadian military officer
Published on: April 29, 2020 | Last Updated: April 29, 2020 6:29 PM EDT
A man was arrested in the capital of Ghana for pretending to be a Canadian army officer, complete with uniform, guns and identity cards.
A man wearing a camouflage-style uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces near an upscale hotel resort in Aburi, a suburb of Accra, the capital of the West African country, caught the attention of a senior member of Ghana’s military on Tuesday.
The supposed Canadian soldier sped away in a Mazda sedan when he spotted the Ghanaian military vehicle raising suspicions, a spokesman for the Ghana Armed Forces said.
While the military official’s aides pursued him, the official alerted military police. The man was caught after a 30-minute pursuit towards downtown Accra.
He was wearing a Canadian military uniform, known as CADPAT for Arid Regions, and carried two fake Canadian military identity cards bearing the name Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Ayeh, two pistols, ammunition, two pairs of handcuffs with keys, a jack knife, a baton, three cellphones and local currency worth about C$3,224.
“Upon interrogation the suspect confessed he was not a Canadian army officer and that he once worked as a contractor with the Canadian army and that is how he acquired the Canadian army camouflage uniform,” said Col. E. Aggrey-Quashie, spokesman for the Ghana Armed Forces.
The suspect said he bought one of the pistols from an official at Ghana police headquarters and inherited the other from a dead uncle’s estate, Aggrey-Quashie said.
Investigators found a previous complaint against him for impersonating a military officer and other matters.
His intent with his masquerade was not disclosed, if it is known. The Ghanaian army issued a public plea for information from anyone who may have been victimized by the suspect, identified as Bernard Ayeh, 41, a Ghanaian citizen from Adjiringanor, a suburb of Accra.
The case has been sent to civilian authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.
Canada’s military is aware of the news from Ghana but has little information.
“We are not involved in the matter, nor do we have any knowledge of the individual at this time,” said Department of National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier.
“Any false impersonation of a CAF member is a disservice to our proud members, who earn the right to wear their uniforms through the hard work and sacrifices made for our country.”
Neither Global Affairs Canada nor the Canadian High Commission in Accra could answer requests for information prior to deadline.
The frightening possibilities of a person wearing an official uniform of an armed authority were seen this month in Nova Scotia when a man dressed in an RCMP uniform and driving a replica police cruiser killed 22 people in a shooting rampage.