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Regional News of Monday, 28 February 2022

Source: Albert Gooddays

Police rescue 36 trafficked persons on Volta Lake

Dignitaries at the summit on Marine Police Operation Dignitaries at the summit on Marine Police Operation

The Oti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Charles Domanban, has revealed that a total of thirty-six victims of human trafficking on the Volta lake have been rescued by the Police in the year 2021.

According to the Commander, the operation was successful with support from the International Justice Mission (IJM) a Non-profit organisation operating in the country against human trafficking especially trafficking of children on the Volta lake.

He said, "Before the introduction of the Marine Police, Police in the Oti region, that's Kete Krachie, Dambai, Nkwanta and then Worawora have assisted the IJM in the handling of child and human trafficking cases and for 2021, we recorded eight cases, four were sent to court, we have one conviction, three awaiting trial and then four under investigation, and we had thirty-six rescues for 2021."

He said this during a summit on Marine Police Operation in Volta and Oti enclaves, organised by IJM in a collaboration with the Volta Regional Command of Marine Police on Friday, February 25, 2022.

The IJM has already trained some fifteen Police officers under the Volta Regional Command of the Ghana Marine Police to man the lake against any form of illicit activities especially Human Trafficking.

The initiative which is currently been a pilot project is expected to be lunch by the Inspector General of Police as soon as possible.

The fifteen trained officers are expected to be equipped by IJM and its partners in the United States of America (USA) with boats and other vital tools needed in a patrol on the lake.

For DCOP Domanban, IJM's intervention is in the right direction saying " With the coming of the Marine Police, they'll be assisting IJM in a very professional way because they're going to patrol the Volta Lake to handle criminal cases such as the child trafficking and human trafficking as well as issues concerning drugs and other crimes committed within the Volta lake.

So it is in the right direction that the Marine Police is been introduced into Oti Region to handle patrols within the Volta lake with the support from IJM".

According to statistics from IJM, since 2015 to date, some 318 victims of human trafficking have been rescued, 189 suspects have been arrested out of which 38 have been convicted. IJM has also trained 18,812 persons from different institutions including the Media, Police, Social Welfare Department, and Judiciary on Human Trafficking and ways to eliminate it.

Stakeholders at the summit were urged by IJM to do collaborative work, avoid flaws, do a thorough investigation, seek advice from Attorney General, arrest and prosecute perpetrators and make the Marine Police patrol on the lake a sustainable initiative.