The Ghana Immigration Service has rescued 42 children who were being trafficked to Nigeria from Tatale and its surrounding communities in the Northern region. The children were aged between 10 and 17 years.
Two persons were arrested over the crime. The suspects identified as Paul Waabem, 24 a Ghanaian from Tatale, resident in Nigeria, and Moses Yaw Kumah, 27, a Togolese, who also lives in Nigeria were remanded in prison custody and reappeared in court yesterday, February 23, 2016. Thirty-three of the children were rescued first and nine others later.
The Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Assistant Director of Immigration (ADI), Mr Eric Afari, who disclosed this in Tamale on Saturday, February 20, said the command had intensified its border patrols in the eastern corridor of the Northern Region to clamp down on the activities of child traffickers.
He said child trafficking was on the ascendency in the area and, therefore, appealed to residents in the area to assist the service with credible information to track down child traffickers in the area.
Afari was speaking during the visit of members of the GIS Board. The team was led by its chairman, Mr Cletus Avoka and members of the GIS board interacted with officers and men of the service in the Northern Region to know their operational challenges and how best they could be resolved.
Mr Afari said the command faced a lot of logistical constraints, including means of transport, the problems of inadequate number of offices and lack of residential accommodation, which together are hampering their operations in the region.
He called for an increase in the approved routes in the area since the stretch from Oti-Damanko to Nakpanduri was a ‘weak link’ because there were only three officially gazetted entry points which were outnumbered by the unapproved crossing points on the stretch. The stretch constituted the gateway to the inflow of criminal elements, Fulani herdsmen, arms proliferation and the smuggling of contrabands.
The Director of Immigration, Mr Felix Yaw Sarpong, charged personnel at the various entry points of the country to eschew extortion and other negative practices that had the tendency to tarnish the image of the service and send bad signals to foreigners such as investors and tourists.
Mr Afari cautioned parents who give their children to foreigners to be sent away for monetary gains, to desist from such acts warning that anyone caught would be severely punished.