Tuesday May 17, 2011 3:15 PM
The Representative of UNICEF in Ghana, Dr. Iyabode Olusanmi, has congratulated the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, the anti- human trafficking unit, and the Department of Social Welfare for releasing 116 trafficked children from forced labor on the Volta Lake and for swiftly prosecuting the perpetrators of these crimes.
She said ”I am thrilled that these children will now be able to return to the love and care of their families. However, we must remember that it is often poverty that drives children into the arms of traffickers. All of us must do everything within our power to eliminate the grinding poverty that is an accomplice to child trafficking.”
According to her, removing children from their families, forcing them to work in exploitative conditions, and depriving them of the opportunity to go to school are terrible crimes to commit against a child.
She said the arrest and prosecution of these criminals indicates the importance that Ghana attaches to its international commitments and domestic legislation regarding the rights of children.
UNICEF supported the Government of Ghana in this inter-agency sting operation and will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to rehabilitate and re-integrate the children, and to reduce child labor and child trafficking in Ghana.
Friday January 14, 2011 2:38 PM
Three siblings who allegedly recruited 10 girls from the Greater Accra and Northern Regions to Nigeria and compelled them to engage in prostitution appeared before an Accra Circuit Court on Thursday.
Fati Abubakari, Memuna Abubakari and Zenabu Abubakari, all traders, are facing 12 counts of conspiracy and human trafficking.
Zenabu is facing an additional charge of allegedly "procuring" one of the victims to leave her matrimonial home in Nanton in the Northern Region to Lagos to engage in prostitution.
They all pleaded not guilty and were admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with a surety each to re-appear on January 17.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mary Agbozo told the court presided over by Mrs Georgina Mensah-Datsa that the victims who had been rescued were currently housed in a shelter.
ASP Agbozo said the complainant is a staff of the Regional Advocacy Information and Network Systems (RAIN), a Tamale-based NGO, while the accused persons were based in Ghana and Nigeria.
She said on December 28, last year, one of the victims confided in the complainant that about four years ago she and other girls were recruited from Agbogboloshie in Accra and Gushiegu in the Northern Region and transported to Nigeria under the pretext of securing them jobs.
On their arrival, they were made to sell porridge "kooko" during the day and engaged in prostitution but that the accused persons after collecting the proceeds declined to pay them for their services.
Due to their plight, prosecution said, one of the girls had been doled out of her marital home and another made to undergo series of illegal abortions.
ASP Agbozo said RAIN, therefore, reported the matter to the Police.
The prosecutor said police investigations indicated that the accused persons had been "doing this business for the past 10 years".
ASP Agbozo said the accused persons, however, had denied the offence but admitted transporting some girls to Nigeria.
Friday December 31, 2010 6:23 PM
Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, has appealed to the
Judiciary to assist the Police Anti-Human Trafficking Unit by
disposing off with dispatch cases of human trafficking before the
law courts. He said if cases of human trafficking were dealt with
expeditiously by the Judiciary it would reduce the crime rate and
also served as deterrent to would-be perpetrators. The speedy trial and sentencing of perpetrators might
discourage the occurrence of the atrocious acts and would
encourage the society to assist in exposing and arresting those
involved, the Regional Minister stressed. Mr Nyamekye Marfo made the appeal on Thursday at the
inauguration of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Unit
in Sunyani under the theme: "Don't Close Your Eyes on Human
Trafficking". The inauguration of the Unit in Brong-Ahafo marked the
seventh in the country within the two years of its existence under
the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service. The Regional Minister noted that the task of halting the menace
was great and onerous, adding the burden of checking it was the
responsibility of everyone, both individuals and organisations. He urged all transport associations to join in the fight against
crime, since some agents transport victims, particularly from the
rural communities, in vehicles. Mr Nyamekye Marfo also appealed to chiefs and opinion
leaders to watch out in their towns and villages to flush out the
perpetrators "who come as agents with enticements to recruit
victims". He urged the Police to persist in the face of limited resources
and be tactically and psychologically ready for the challenges
involved in the effort to halt menace. The Regional Minister gave the assurance that Government was
committed to providing the unit with the needed financial and
logistical support to enhance its operations. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Seth Charles Oteng,
Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander in an inaugural address
on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul
Tawiah Quaye, stated human trafficking unlike other crimes as
stealing and fraud, directly affected the health and social and
economic development of victims, who were mostly females and
children. He said human trafficking impacted negatively on the national
economy as it contributed to the breeding of street children,
unskilled labour, and worse of all women forced into prostitution
contracted all kinds of venereal diseases including HIV/AIDS. DCOP Oteng stated that the police administration with the
collaboration of other security agencies, were determined to
eliminate human trafficking. He gave the assurance that the police
would not relent in their efforts, saying "until trafficking in human
beings is no more practised in our society". Nana Twereko Ampim III, Chief of Ntotroso in Asutifi District
and President of Ahafo-Ano Traditional Council, who presided,
lauded the inauguration of the Unit in the region, where he said the
menace was rampant. He said the Asutifi, Bui and Yeji areas in the region were
prominently noted for the obnoxious practice "because of the gold
mining, the dam construction and fishing respectively". Nana Ampim admitted that fighting crime was the responsibility
of every one and urged traditional authorities not to hesitate to
collaborate with the police to check the menace. Superintendent Patience Quaye, Director of the Unit later in an
interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said Ghana was
now rated at tier two instead of tier one. She explained that tier one implied the human trafficking crime
rate in a country was either non-existent or very minimal whilst tier
two meant the rate was high and the tier three very high. Supt. Quaye complemented the appeal to the Judiciary for
cases of human trafficking to be tried in a speedy manner to justify
the country's determination to deal effectively with the menace. There were solidarity messages from other security agencies
and organisations including the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana
Immigration Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, Legal
Resource Centre of the Police and the Ministry of Women and
Children Affairs. Prior to the inaugural ceremony, there was a float by the Police
through the principal streets of Sunyani, holding placards with
inscriptions that read "stop human trafficking, it is a killer",
"human trafficking is a crime against humanity", "perpetrators will
be jailed five years minimum", among others.
Friday December 31, 2010 5:53 PM
The Ghana Police Service with the help of UNICEF has established an Anti-Human Traffic Unit at Wa to operate as an intelligenc= e heart beat on human trafficking in the region.
A three-day workshop designed to hone the skills of 35 police offic= ers drawn from all the districts in the region who operate the Unit, preceded=
the inauguration of the Unit at Wa on Wednesday. The inauguration had the theme: "Don't close your eyes to human trafficking". Speaking at the ceremony, the Upper West Regional Deputy Minister, Mr. Kale Cesar, said it was very appropriate to have agents of the Unit in th= e rural areas because victims of human trafficking usually hail from such areas where poverty was very rife.
He called on the relevant agencies to share information and resource= s in order to make meaningful impact on combating the crime. Community members, he stated, must be prepared to expose the operato= rs of this crime to the security agencies while the judiciary should also de= al sternly with culprits brought before the courts. He advised security personnel to conduct the exercise as a purely security intelligence network so that identities of people who may volunt= eer information were protected. Mr. Amponsah Asiamah (ACP), Director of Administration at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters, who represented the Director-General of CID, noted that human trafficking was one of the fast= est growing global crimes He therefore urged the general public to be on the look out for thos= e engaged in it and report them to the police.
"It is inimical to the creation of a more civilized society for women=
and children to be robbed of their freedom", he said. He commended UNICEF for supporting the Police to establish such unit= s in all the regions. Mr. Eric Okrah, a Representative of UNICEF, said the high poverty levels in a region like the Upper West could encourage trafficking of children to other areas for economic exploitation such as the emerging "oil city" of Takoradi.
He mentioned the Republic of Gabon where a lot of human trafficking was going on because of Oil production, adding that this must not happen in Ghana.
ACP Addae Acheampong, the Regional Police Commander, noted that the savannah areas of the country were becoming notorious for human trafficki= ng and called on all relevant agencies to support the Police to arrest that canker.
Tuesday November 16, 2010 8:42 PM
The Aflao Immigration Control unit of the Ghana Immigration Service has recorded 39 intercepted cases of human trafficking involving Ghanaians, Togolese, Nigerians and Chinese nationals.
Children and adults between the ages of eight and 23 were being trafficked along the Ghana-Togo border.
To stem the tide of the menace, the Immigration Service with support from the United Nations Children's Fund has inaugurated an anti-human trafficking desk at the Aflao Immigration control under the auspices of the Migration Management Bureau of the service.
Mr. Thomas Antong, Commander of the Aflao Sector of the Ghana Immigration Service, made this known at the inauguration of the desk at Aflao in the Ketu North District last weekend.
He said that "trafficking in human beings is a low cost high profit organised crime which must be nipped in the bud".
Mr Antong pointed out that the desk would get tough on human trafficking and called on other law enforcement agencies to support and assist the service since anti-human trafficking must be everybody's business to expose recruiters, transporters as well as users.
Madam Judith Dzokoto, Assistant Director of Migration Management Bureau of the Ghana Immigration Service, noted that the expansion of the anti-human trafficking desk to the borders would enhance the knowledge and skills of the officers, irrespective of the challenges.
Source: The Ghanaian Times
Tuesday November 9, 2010 10:54 AM
Mr. Prosper Agblor, Acting Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, has urged the public not to take the issue of human trafficking as trifling.
He said this at the inauguration of the Volta Regional Police Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in Ho on the theme “Don’t close your eyes to Human Trafficking”.
Mr Agblor said even though the police had been making arrests and prosecuting offenders, the phenomenon was gradually becoming a highly lucrative and exploitative business in Ghana, observing that “in recent years, Ghana has emerged as a major source, transit and destination point of Human Trafficking”.
“Our children and women especially have become victims of trafficking and have been trafficked both internally and externally to be engaged in sexual exploitation and forced labour among others,” he said.
Mr Agblor said “the danger posed by this heinous crime is enormous. There is therefore the need for a greater collaboration by all the stakeholders to effectively fight this menace”.
He said “there exist in Ghana a large pool of potential victims rendered vulnerable by extreme poverty and ignorance”.
He said the Police Administration was resolved to curb human trafficking and urged the public to volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of traffickers.
Assistant Commissioner of Police David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, the Volta Regional Police Commander, in a speech read on his behalf appealed to the citizenry to help in eradicating the menace by being each others keeper, especially women and children, since they were the most vulnerable.
Mama Agblatsu III, a Queen of Ho-Bankoe, speaking on behalf assured the police of the traditional council’s support.
Friday August 6, 2010 10:01 AM
284 children suspected to be victims of human trafficking have been transferred to the police headquarters in Accra from Tema.
The anti-human trafficking unit of the Criminal Investigations Department together with the Tema Regional Police intercepted them onboard three buses at Prampram.
According to the police, the victims who are aged between five and fifteen were being transported to Yeji to engage in menial jobs.
“The anti-human trafficking unit has established that there is the likelihood that most of the children were going to be used for menial jobs and other fishing activities in and around Yeji, DSP Kwesi Ofori, Director of Police Public Relations told News men.
Some of the children who spoke to news men said they were on vacation and were traveling to Yeji to visit their parents.
They claim to be hungry after being starved since morning.
He said the children will be taken to the Police training school to make use of hostel facilities after which a decision will be taken.
Meanwhile, thirteen men accused of allegedly trafficking children were Tuesday arraigned before the Accra Circuit Court 5 presided over by Judge Georgina Mensah–Datsa.
They have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and human trafficking.
The accused are Samuel Yenyan Korye, Eric Siaw, Super Dzisenu, Ku George Moses, Felix Nartey, Robert Nartey, John Nartey, Akakpo Dameh, Emmanuel Nartey, George Ayiku Nartey, Alex Koffie, Tei Dawa and Enock Tetteh Bordozor.
The first, second and fifth accused persons who are drivers have also been charged additionally with carrying persons in a vehicle in excess of the prescribed number.
Their pleas were not taken but were ordered to be kept in police custody until August 10, 2010.
Presenting the facts to the court, ASP Annor said on August 1, 2010, three commercial buses with registration numbers GT 6121-10, GR 3096 C and WR 2175 C en-route to Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region were intercepted by the police at the outskirts of Prampram.
He said on the spot investigation revealed that, 338 children between the ages of 4 and19 years recruited from Ada, Ningo, Sege, Kpongnuour and its surrounding villages were being transported by the accused persons to Yeji to work.
The prosecutor also informed the court that investigations were continuing as a team of investigators and personnel from the Anti-Human Trafficking unit of the police have left for Yeji to ascertain if the parents of the victims are based there.
That, he said, was when the police were told when the children were intercepted.
He said the children are being housed at the Tesano Police Station and have since been fed and catered for by an NGO.
Wednesday April 14, 2010 2:35 PM
The Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon has organized a five day training workshop for police personnel on The Advanced Trafficking in Human Beings from seven West African countries in Ghana, The countries includes The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana and Cote D'ivoire.
The Advanced Trafficking in Human Beings training programme is a follow up to a training that was held last year in Ghana. The training seeks to build the capacities of the personnel in modern trends of fighting Human Trafficking in their countries.
The training is organized in partnership with the German government and the Australian Federal Police.
D.S.P/ Mrs.Patience Quaye the Director of the Anti Human Trafficking Unit CID -Ghana and a member of the Interpol steering committee is coordinating this training.
For more information please log on to www.interpol.int
Wednesday February 24, 2010 12:34 PM
There was an emotional scene at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters at the Police headquarters yesterday when a 13- year- old trafficked boy, Fatahu Awani, was reconciled with the mother, Zinabu Wadai.
The mother, who had lost contact with the son for over a year, embraced him and shed tears on seeing the boy who was handed over to her by the police.
Briefing the media, the Director General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Frank Adu - Poku said the police had information that Fatahu had been trafficked from Burkina Faso to Aowin in the Western Region. He said personnel from the CID and the Anti Human Trafficking Unit also at the headquarters were deployed to Burkina Faso and Aowin respectively to investigate the matter.
DCOP Adu- Poku said the personnel teamed up their counterparts in Burkina Faso where their investigation revealed that Fatahu has been trafficked to Ghana. He said the police intensified their search in Aowin area and succeeded in locating a house on Saturday, February 13 where they arrested Daniel Asare Arthur and Gyan Adu- Kumfi, its two occupants. Mr. Adu-Poku said the police had intensified a search for the man (name withheld) who allegedly sold the boy to the suspects.
DCOP Adu-Poku said the police were keeping curbing human trafficking which was gradually crippling into the society, adding that armed robbery, drug, car dealings and car snatching were topping the crime list and that the police would not relent in its fight against perpetrators.
Zinabu Wadai told the media that it was Tampuri a relative who took the child to work for someone in Enchi. The member for Parliament for Aowin, Mathias Kwame Ntow, who was at the CID headquarters to witness the reunion of the child to the mother, said he was surprised at the act as his constituency was not noted for human trafficking. He said when he interrogated the suspects; they told him the man who brought the boy said because of the Bawku conflict, his family had disintegrated and the boy was rescued by a Good Samaritan.
Francis Asamoah Tuffuor
Wednesday December 23, 2009 6:13 PM
A collaborative investigation undertaken by Ghana’s mission in Moscow and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has uncovered a human trafficking and prostitution ring which recruits young Ghanaian women for commercial sex work in Moscow and other cities of the Russian Federation.
A report on the findings of the investigation said Ghana’s mission in Moscow had established that at least 50 Ghanaian women had been lured into the Russian Federation by the syndicate operating in Ghana and the Russian Federation, to practice prostitution.
According to the report, the young women, usually enticed by the guise of further education in Russian universities, “are kept in confinement for the purpose of the said trade and their documents and other personal items seized. Those found to be unwilling or non-cooperative are maltreated”.
“Amid the general insecurity in the Russian Federation, the girls are being subjected to rape, torture, and assault. Within the past one year, two Nigerian prostitutes were thrown down to their death from apartment buildings,” the report said.
According to the Ghana Mission in Moscow, 10 of the women were in the custody of three Nigerians, Kingsley Chinedu (alias Boss), resident in Bratislavkaya Dom. 15; Tony Stephane and one Linda. The report said each of the 10 women had been requested to pay between $35,000 and $45,000, in order to obtain their freedom to live wherever they chose in Russia.
The report named Ebenezer Wiredu, Addo Nartey, alias “God’s Time”, Nana Yaw Amankwa, Comfort Akwasi Amoah, Auntie Bee and an individual indentified by the code name “Lava”, as the ring’s agents in Ghana.
Their alleged Ghanaian accomplices resident in Russia were named as De Graft Oppong Checheku, alias Samsung, of House No 60, Ryazanski Prospect, Moscow; Nana Akwasi Amoah, House No 1, Kalushkaya, Samiratu Hassan and Georgina Adoma Afriyie.
The report said the mission had identified some of the girls Nartey recruited and sent to Russia to engage in prostitution during the past four years as Samiratu Hassan, Rita Yeboah, Mariama Osumanu, Apau Emmanuela, Vida Annor, Fremah Cecilia Ama, and Adoma Georgina Afriyie.
Wiredu and Amankwah jointly recruited Gifty Asante, Salihu Zainab, Bremang Boateng and Comfort Aluah, the report said. The Ghana Mission said it was alleged during the investigations that Wiredu had been engaging in passport racketeering as well. “The Ghana Mission has learnt that on or about July, 2009, he sent 10 Ghanaian passports through a courier to one Peter Boamah in Moscow, which were then sold to Nigerian citizens in the Russian Federation.
The passports are being used for advance fee fraud and prostitution,” the report said. The report named a popular top-class hotel at Madina and two popular night clubs at Osu and Lapaz as centers for the recruitment of young women to work as prostitutes in Russia.
The investigators said they had established that the agent, known by the code name “Lava”, is a native of Wenchi, who recruits girls from the Brong Ahafo Region. “Lava” is said to have recruited from the region and sent to Russia Barbara Konadu Mavis, Getrude Frimpomaa and Rosemond Anima. The mission said it found that Comfort Amoah and Auntie Bee facilitated the trafficking of two girls, Susan Danso and Harriet Brago Abena, who were sent to Nana Akwasi Amoah in Russia on May 15, 2009.
According to the findings of the investigation, Akwasi and Joyce Ababio attempted to sell the two Ghanaian girls to a Nigerian woman identified as Linda, for $5000 each, but the girls escaped. Ghana mission facilitated their repatriation to Ghana with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration.
The report said it has been established that there were two groups of women who had been sent to Russia to work as prostitutes: those who were already in the sex trade in Ghana and who, therefore, knew what they were being recruited for in Russia and others who were sent to Russia on the pretext of finding them employment and admission into universities and other schools.
The investigators said they had identified some educational institutions in Russia which were being used to facilitate the trafficking of women from Ghana. Communication between Ghanaian agents of the ring and their Russian accomplices is mainly by e-mail, telephone and courier services. From Ghana, they send by mail nude pictures of Ghanaians girls for assessment. If found suitable, the girls’ particulars are submitted to universities in Russia for investigation/admission.
The mission said it had seen invitations sent to secure young Ghanaian women from the People’s Friendship University (Patrice Lumumba University) Kursk State University and Moscow State Technical University. The Ghana Mission made references to the high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in the Russian Federation, stressing that the Ghanaian girls recruited to engage in commercial sex work in the country were at great risk as some of them were often forced to have unprotected sex in spite of the high risk of infection.
The mission estimated that there were over 500 Nigerian and Cameroonian girls engaged in prostitution in Russia and said the activities of the prostitutes were influencing the behaviour of some African students, especially at the People’s Friendship University. “If the trend is not curtailed, it may also extend to Ghanaian students,” the report added. The report said some Nigerian girls, especially those in Saint Petersburg, were using Ghanaian passports obtained through Ebenezer Wiredu in Ghana.
It said the Ghana Mission was finding it difficult to break the illicit trade in Ghanaian passports because of the ‘unhelpful attitude of the Russian Law enforcement agents”. The Ghana Mission recommended that the authorities in Ghana solicit the assistance of the media to educate the Ghanaian public on the dangers of embarking on adventurous trips to Russia.
Source: Daily Graphic