Agence France-Presse

Ashanti crown jewels stolen from Ghana's King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in Norway hotel

Ghana's King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II of the Ashanti (Asante) kingdom, pictured here in 2007.

The Ashanti crown jewels have been stolen from a hotel in Oslo, according to reports.

The priceless jewels were traveling with Ghana's King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, traditional ruler of the Ashanti (or "Asante"), who was attending a conference in the Norwegian capital.

The jewels have been passed down through generations of Ashanti rulers, and are used by the king when he performs ceremonial duties.

A suitcase was snatched Wednesday morning from the lobby of the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in downtown Oslo, Norwegian media reported.

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Broadcaster NRK said police have “good pictures” from a surveillance camera at the hotel, and are working to identify suspects. 

"Anyone carrying something of great personal value will understand what a great loss it is when it is stolen," the king's secretary Kofi Owusu Boateng said, according to a BBC report.

"And for anyone who knows our tradition it will be clear that these crown jewels has tremendous value," he said.

King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the throne in 1999 as the 16th Asantehene, or ruler of the Ashanti people. His official residence is in Kumasi, Ghana.

Earlier this year a South African newspaper reported that the king had bought a $3 million mansion in an exclusive Johannesburg neighborhood to use while visiting the country for medical check-ups.

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