Crime & Punishment of Monday, 1 November 2004
Accra, Nov. 1, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court on Monday ordered the immediate deportation of a 62-year-old Dutch for filming and taking pictures of over fifteen Ghanaian girls engaged in sexual acts.
This was after Frederick De Graaf a businessman had changed his plea of not guilty to guilty saying, "My Lord I am sorry."
The court asked him to leave on or before Friday November 5, but he should do so after paying all his fines before leaving the shores of Ghana.
Earlier, De Graaf, who was charged for engaging in activities contrary to the Immigration Act, disregarding and disobeying the obligations of a tourist, and deceit of public officer, pleaded not guilty.
The court, presided over by Mrs. Elizabeth Ankomah sentenced De Graaf to a fine of 20 million cedis on the first two charges in default or serve a four-year jail term.
The court ordered him to pay another fine of 500,000 cedis on charges of deceiving a public officer in default, go to jail for six months. The court further gave agreed on compensation of five million cedis each to be offered to five of De Graaf's victims.
It also asked that all electrical gadgets used in committing the offence be confiscated to the State and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) should destroy the pictures and cassettes of the victims. The court however, ordered that 3,500 Euro's and 1.5 million cedis, assorted drugs, a Sony mobile phone, credit and Identity cards, lighters, a packet of cigarette found on De Graaf should be returned to him.
Mr. Frederick Prince Neequaye, who represented De Graaf pleaded for leniency saying his client has been incarceration for some time and has learnt a lesson from that.
According to him, De Graaf, who is a first offender, has a heart problem and a custodial sentence would affect his health.
Mr Kwame Takyi, Controller, GIS, who prosecuted earlier, told the court that the accused first visited the country in 1988 as a tourist.
Mr Takyi said over the past three years the accused had visited the country 11 times as a tourist, which did not permit him to take-up employment.
On October 4, this year, de Graaf at the Port of entry indicated to immigration officials that he was entering the country as a tourist.
Prosecution said De Graaf who appeared to be a benevolent person, approached needy but beautiful girls and offered to assist them by sponsoring their education.
He said some parents of the victims, willingly accepted de Graaf's offer. However, after sponsoring the girls for some years, he began inviting them for sex in his hotel room, which easily passed for a world-class film studio.
Mr. Takyi said unknown to the girls, De Graaf had been taking photographs and films of their sex sessions and took the pictures and pornographic films back to Holland.
On October 13, this year, officers from the Operation Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) swooped De Graaf's hotel room at Club 10, Nima, Accra on a tip-off.
Profane inscriptions and pictures of nude girls, most of whom were between the ages of 16 and 18 years, a Minolta camera, one Sony digital video camera recorder, one Sony mega Pixel digital handy cam, one ultra compact 35mm camera, two movable stage flash lights, one Fuji film quick camera, one flash light, ten used Sony 80 digital video cassettes, and a TV set, among other things, were found there.
Prosecution said 15 of the DVD/VCH discs retrieved from the hotel room of the accused contained graphic sex session with over 50 different Ghanaian girls, some of whom are JSS/SSS students and other West African nationals.
Further investigation also revealed that De Graaf had been connecting some of the girls in his films to interested persons abroad who then wrote to them from abroad.
In some instances, some of the girls were sent abroad to meet their boy friends.
The accused admitted the offence and also stated that he had been "enstooled" as the Nkosuohene (Development Chief) of Agona Kroforso in the Ashanti Region.