While visiting Norway's capital for an international economics conference, King Otumfo Osei Tute II of Ghana was robbed in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel. He was traveling with a suitcase, which apparently had some of Ghana's crown jewels within it.
The king was traveling with the several rings and multiple head pieces for the official ceremonies that were to take place during the Norwegian African Business Association conference. The priceless Ashanti relics have been passed down by monarchs for generations. The king's secretary, Kofi Ovus Boateng, issued a statement pleading with anyone who may have any clues to the whereabouts of the stolen suitcase to come forward, and he also stressed what great cultural value the jewels hold to the Ashanti people and their traditions.
The hotel's surveillance footage has led local law enforcement to a man and a woman whom they think made off with the king's luggage. The video has been released in an effort to gain more clues about the thieves' identities and whereabouts. The leader of the Norwegian African Business Association, Eivind Fjeldstad, says of the robbery, "As hosts for His Majesty, we are terribly sorry about this."
The Ashanti people of Ghana are one of the most traditional tribes in the region, and the 62 year old king is a greatly revered leader of the country. He was crowned King of the Ashanti in 1999 and is their 16th ruler.
While the stolen jewels are irreplaceable, this incident serves as a reminder to those planning a trip to Norway that vigilance, careful planning and investing in proper insurance is a necessity when you travel abroad with items of value.