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Ghanaian king's luggage, valuable jewelry swiped from Norwegian hotel

From Per Nyberg, CNN
October 15, 2012 -- Updated 1013 GMT (1813 HKT)
Police used surveillance video to spot a man and woman suspected in the theft and are asking for citizens' help to identify them.
Police used surveillance video to spot a man and woman suspected in the theft and are asking for citizens' help to identify them.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, head of the Asante people, goes to Norway to attend a conference
  • One of his bags is stolen from the lobby of a Radisson hotel in Oslo, according to police
  • The luggage contains royal jewelry "of great value," police say
  • Authorities release video hoping the public can identify two suspects in the theft

Read a version of this story in Arabic

(CNN) -- Rather than getting treated like royalty, an African king got a rude introduction to Norway when thieves made off with his luggage -- with his precious, valuable jewelry tucked inside.

The whereabouts of King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II's valuables inside the bag swiped Wednesday from the lobby of the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Oslo remain unknown. Police used surveillance video to identify a man and woman suspected in the theft and are asking for citizens' help in identifying them, acting Oslo Assistant Chief of Police Hege Naustad told CNN on Saturday.

While Ghana is a constitutional democracy led by a president since the mid-20th century, it has a rich history beyond that -- including groups that date back centuries, including the Asantes, who are centered inland in the West African nation.

The current leader of the traditional Asante kingdom, the 62-year-old King Osei Tutu, remains a prominent figure in Ghana. Based at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, he frequently weighs in on issues -- from expressing condolences over the death this summer of Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills to promoting development and unity among Asanteman chiefs. As recently as Friday, he asked all politicians "to refrain from personal attacks and insinuations" ahead of December elections, according to his website.

The king had gone to Oslo to promote his people by taking part in a conference run by the Norwegian African Business Association, according to Naustad.

The British-educated monarch landed at the airport in the Scandinavian city Wednesday, and subsequently made his way to the hotel in the city center.

It was there in the hotel lobby that one of the king's bags was stolen, the assistant police chief said. The royal jewelry inside the stolen luggage is "of great value," he added.

The theft was immediately reported to authorities, with the hotel's surveillance tape soon becoming a key piece of evidence.

The video shows a backpack-toting male suspect entering through a revolving door wearing a cap, sunglasses and light pants. The other person pictured is a woman in a head scarf and glasses, wearing light pants, a dark jacket and a dark shirt underneath.

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