A 46-year-old man, Bright Agyepong, is in the grip of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service for allegedly selling his four biological children into slavery on the Volta Lake for GH¢ 500.
All the four children, who are males, have been rescued, along with another nine -year- old boy who was said to have been sold into slavery by his relation when he was three years old.
A team of police officers accompanied by officials of Challenging Heights Ghana, a non governmental organisation engaged in the fight against human trafficking, rescued the children from Fantekope-Biobio, near Kpando Torkor, in the Volta Region.
Briefing journalists after the special exercise, Ms Pomaa Arthur, Communications Manager of Challenging Heights, said Agyepong, who claimed to be a bookman at a bus station at Kasoa in the Central Region, was arrested following complaints to the Kasoa Police from some neighbours and the mother of the children.
She said the neighbours had reported to the police that the children, aged between 13 and 19 years old, had been missing from their home where they lived with their father for about two to five years now.
According to her, there was rumour making rounds that the children were sold by their father.
She said when Agyepong was contacted he told the police he had taken the children to live with their uncle at Kpando Torkor so that they could have a better life.
Ms Arthur said when he was asked if he had sold the children, Agyepong said he had not sold them.
She said Agyepong was, however, not able to provide the contact address or telephone number of his brother who he named as Kweku Adu, who he claimed was a resident of Kpando Torkor.
The police said Agyepong, however, admitted that he took his children to live with his brother since he could no longer take care of them as a single parent.
After gathering intelligence and establishing that the children had been sold, Ms Arthur said a rescue mission was organised by Challenging Heights, in collaboration with the Anti -Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, and found all the claims of Agyepong to be false.
Ms Arthur said no one by name Kweku Adu could be traced at Kpando Torkor.
After searching fruitlessly for the said brother of Agyepong, she said intelligence received led the team to Fantekope-Biobio, an island community in the Afram Plains, where the children were found working as slaves for some fishermen.
The children were working for two men described as slave masters who were not their relatives.
One of the masters was said to be a pastor of the Resurrection Church of Christ and the other a chief of the community.
The rescue team, she said, was however, unable to arrest the said masters whose identities had been withheld since they had fled the community upon a tip-off.
All the four victims were identified by their mother whose name has also been withheld.
The fifth victim who was also rescued was later identified as working for the pastor.
According to Ms Arthur, three of the victims had been working in hazardous circumstances for five years whereas the other two had spent three years working in adverse conditions.
The children, who are now free, have been taken to a private shelter while the police continue with their investigations.
The slave masters have also been asked to report to the police to assist in investigations.
Source: Daily Graphic
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