Two persons have been arrested for allegedly trafficking 42 children from the Northern Region to Nigeria.
The suspects are Paul Waabem (24), a Ghanaian from Tatale, who is domiciled in Nigeria, and Moses Yaw Kumah (27), a Togolese, who lives in Nigeria.
They have been remanded in prison custody and are to reappear in court tomorrow, February 23, 2016.
Thirty-three of the children were rescued first and nine others later in January this year.
The Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Assistant Director of Immigration (ADI), Mr Eric Afari, who disclosed this in Tamale last Saturday, said the command had intensified its border patrols in the eastern corridor of the Northern Region to clamp down on the activities of child traffickers.
He said child trafficking was on the ascendency in the area and, therefore, appealed to residents in the area to assist the service with credible information to track down child traffickers in the area.
He was speaking during the visit of members of the GIS Board. The team was led by its chairman, Mr Cletus Avoka. Members of the GIS board interacted with officers and men of the service in the Northern Region to know their operational challenges and how best they could be resolved.
Mr Afari said the command faced a lot of logistical constraints, including means of transport, the problems of adequate number of offices and lack of residential accommodation, which together are hampering their operations in the region.
Increase in approved routes
He called for an increase in the approved routes in the area since the stretch from Oti-Damanko to Nakpanduri was a ‘weak link’ because there were only three officially gazetted entry points which were outnumbered by the unapproved crossing points on the stretch.
The stretch constituted the gateway to the inflow of criminal elements, Fulani herdsmen, arms proliferation and the smuggling of contrabands.
Board Chairman’s response
Mr Avoka gave an assurance that the board, together with the management, had taken note of their concerns and would help resource the service to enable the personnel to discharge their duties effectively, especially at the country’s borders— in the wake of the terrorism attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso recently.
The Director of Immigration, Mr Felix Yaw Sarpong, charged personnel at the various entry points of the country to eschew extortion and other negative practices that had the tendency to tarnish the image of the service and send bad signals to foreigners such as investors and tourists