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Oslo police recover stolen Ghana royal gold

Two gold objects belonging to Ghana tribal leader King Otomfuo Osei Tutu II have been found after they were stolen in Oslo last week, Norway's police said on Friday when releasing the names of two suspects.

Oslo police recover stolen Ghana royal gold
Norwegian police have released these images of two of the suspects.

King Otomfuo Osei Tutu II was in Oslo to attend a conference organized by the Norwegian-African Business Association when the Ghanian crown jewels were stolen from an Oslo hotel lobby.

The jewels, reportedly of great value, were in a suitcase on a pile of luggage in the lobby and were stolen as the king's entourage was busy at the front desk.

Police recovered four gold objects in connection with the arrest of a man earlier this week at Stockholm's Arlanda airport as he tried to leave Sweden. He has confessed to being involved.

"Four gold objects were found in their possession, out of which two with certainty were part of the royal jewels that were stolen in Oslo," a spokesman for the Oslo police, Roar Hanssen, told AFP.

On Friday the police also released the names and photographs of two suspects wanted in connection with the theft.

Marcia Veronica Blas Valerio (or Maria Elena Ayma Ludena) was caught on a video surveillance camera snatching the jewels and is suspected of the theft, police said, while Jose Oblitas Vidarte Monteza was identified as her accomplice.

In a statement, the police said the two wanted suspects had also travelled to Sweden two days after the theft and said it was possible they were still in that country.

The Ashanti monarch, one of Ghana's traditional tribal leaders, is one of the country's most revered figureheads and the government regularly consults with him. Ghana became a republic in 1960, three years after gaining independence.

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ROYAL

Has King Harald snubbed Sweden’s royal wedding?

Norway’s King Harald is not attending the wedding of “Europe’s coolest royal couple” Sofia Hellqvist and Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip on Saturday, leaving Scandinavian royal watchers puzzled.

Has King Harald snubbed Sweden's royal wedding?
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip marry on Saturday in Stockholm. Photo: Swedish Court
According to the Norwegian Royal Court, Queen Sonja is scheduled to attend the wedding along with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Märtha-Louise and her husband Ari Behn. 
 
However, Harald himself will be absent. 
 
“The King has another private engagement, and will not be at the wedding,” a court spokesperson told Dagbladet. 
 
The spokesperson would not clarify whether Harald had been invited or not.
 
Last year, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustav ruffled Norwegian feathers by at first declining to attend the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution. 
 
He later relented and attended the ceremony on May 17. 
 
Kjell Arne Totland, a Royal expert with TV2 told Dagbladet that it was quite common for Norway’s King and Queen to attend events alone. 
 
“In April Harald went alone to Copenhagen for the 75th birthday of Queen Margrethe,” he said. “Both King and Queen were invited both to there and to Stockholm, but this time it is the king who has other plans for the weekend.” 
 
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