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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 20 July 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Ghana Immigration Service intercepts seven trafficked girls

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has intercepted six girls and a woman being trafficked to the Gulf States. The six girls aged between 21 and 22, hailed from Bono, Ashanti, Northern and Volta regions, and were scheduled to travel to Lebanon on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight.

The woman, 26, (name withheld) hails from Egbazo, Nzima in the Jomoro District of the Western region. An official statement signed by ACI Barbara Sam, GIS Public Relations Officer at KIA and copied the GNA, said the girls were suspected to have been be trafficked and appeared younger than their purported ages in their passports.

According to the statement, they were unable to tell their purpose of travelling or their final destination, except one of them, who said she was travelling outside the country to work in a shop. The statement said In the case of the woman, she was spotted by an officer crying at the departure hall and was escorted to the Immigration Fraud Unit for interrogation.

She later revealed that she was recruited by one Alberta, who later transferred her to another agent by name Mina in Accra to facilitate her travelling to the Gulf State, it added. According to the woman, she was charged an amount of GHC7,500 but her family was able to raise GHC2,200 with the promise to pay the balance on her arrival in the Gulf State.

"She further disclosed that her family threatened her not to return home should she refuse to travel to Lebanon." A thorough check on her passport revealed that she had travelled earlier on to Saudi Arabia.

The statement quoted the Regional Commander of the GIS KIA Command, ACI Edith Penelope Arhin, cautioning parents to take keen interest in the welfare of their children, especially the girl child because travelling outside the country does not guarantee their future.

"Parents should beware of people who pose as travel agents with juicy proposals of taking their kids abroad to better their lives," she said. "With determination and hard work they can make it here in Ghana." She said the irony of the Gulf issue is that most of the girls return home mentally disturbed, sick or sometimes die on arrival.

She also advised young girls to pursue their educational goals and learn some trade or apprenticeship.