A total of 64 children – between the ages of five and 16 years – were rescued from an operation organized by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service on the Volta Lake in the first quarter of this year.
The operation, organized in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Marine Police and with the support of Social Welfare and International Justice Mission (IJM), started from Akosombo and ended at Akateng, a village near Asesewa in the Eastern Region.
The Director General in-charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), COP Bright Oduro, said during the seven-hour operation, 24 children, aged between five and 16 years, were rescued while 16 suspected traffickers were arrested.
“The rescued children were spotted scooping water from the canoes, while others were fixing and unfixing fishing nets on the lake and paddling canoes,” he indicated.
He said the rescued victims were interviewed, counseled and are being sheltered in a home.
DCOP Bright Oduro said caution statements were taken from the arrested suspects before they were all granted bail.
“The dockets have been forwarded to the Attorney – General’s Department for advice and prosecution.
Meanwhile, on April 11, 2017, a joint operation was again organized and 31 victims were rescued.
The children were between the ages of five and 16 years.
Eleven suspects were also arrested during the same operation at Kpando and Torkor in the Volta Region.
The director general of CID noted that the victims who were all of school-going ages, were used by their slave masters on the lake for selfish gains while children of the suspected traffickers were attending school.
On April 7, the police again rescued two adults aged 22 and 26 years, together with five children at Bantuma, a suburb of Elmina in the Central Region.
Those who were using the victims for their fishing business were busted.
“These victims, because they have no money to transport themselves back to their villages, were forced to do business against their wishes,” the CID boss intimated.
He cautioned parents and guardians not to give their children out to relatives to use them for risky activities instead of being in school.