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General News of Friday, 21 June 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Police rescue 29 Togolese nationals from suspected human traffickers

The Assin Fosu Divisional Police Command in the Central Region has rescued 29 Togolese nationals from suspected human traffickers.

The victims were being transported in a sprinter bus with registration number GY–2576-18 which was headed to Elubo from Togo.

Driver of the sprinter bus who was identified only as Yusuf was apprehended by the Assin Fosu Police after the bus was stopped for overloading.

Citi News sources say the driver who claimed to be Ghanaian explained that they left Togo on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, with the children aged between 1 to 20 years.

According to the driver, he was transporting the children who were on vacation in Togo to their parents in Elubo to help them on their farms.

Speaking to Citi News in an interview, Mustapha Okine Aryee, the Municipal Social Welfare Officer for Assin Fosu, explained that upon further interaction with the children, they noticed that the children were picked up from different locations in Togo and were being trafficked to Elubo to work on farms.

“Our interaction with them indicated that they were from different places in Togo and they were going to be engaged in child labour. Some of them don’t even know where they were going and it is very unfortunate”.

“We realized that this could be an issue of human trafficking which involves children and adults because about 16 of them were eighteen years and below somewhere as young as four years, five years and I even learned there was a baby on board,” the Social Welfare Officer said.

He explained that the children have been handed over to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit at the Central Regional Police Command for further action.

“Although the vehicle conveying the children had a Ghanaian number plate the driver refused to tell us about the people behind the trafficking,” Mustapha Aryee said.

For now, the 29 children together with the driver of the vehicle are currently at the Central Regional Police Command assisting in the investigation, a source at the Regional Police Command told Citi News.