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Two suspected child traffickers remanded in custody


Two men alleged to be behind a child smuggling ring were on Wednesday remanded in custody by a Tamale circuit court presided over by Mr Twumasi Ankra.

The suspects, Paul Waabem, 24, a Ghanaian from Tatale, who is domiciled in Nigeria, and Moses Yaw Kumah, 27, a Togolese, who lives in Nigeria are reported to have trafficked 42 children from the northern region to Nigeria.

Their next court date is on March 16. The judge, in his ruling, asked the prosecutor to produce the parents of the victims at the next hearing so that the court will ascertain if the parents gave their consent.

Ironically, the two suspects, according to Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), were themselves victims of child trafficking.

Speaking to Zaa News in an interview, the Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Assistant Director of Immigration (ADI), Eric Afari, described the child trafficking phenomenon in the region as endemic, especially along the eastern corridor.

Touching on the hotels abiding by the Ghana Immigration Act 573 of 2000, Mr Afari said some hotels in the region are not complying with the law. The law mandates hoteliers to submit annual reports on foreigners to the Immigration Services, but the law has been flouted by some operators.

The regional immigration director hinted that his outfit will soon activate and strengthen their enforcement wing. Mr Afari also appealed to the people, especially landlords in the northern region, to report people with suspicious ideas and characters to the service and the police for the safety of everyone.

According to Mr Afari, with the emergence of terrorism across the world, there was the need for the citizens to assist security agencies with information to enable them protect the country.

In November 2015, terrorists attacked a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital leaving at least 21 people dead, including the two attackers and highlighted the world’s growing vulnerability to extremist violence.

Less than a week after the Paris gun and suicide bomb attacks in which 130 people were killed, a group of heavily armed and seemingly well-trained gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.

The attackers were reported to have driven unchallenged into an inner compound, detonated grenades, opened fire at security guards and then took 170 people hostage–among them diplomats, a celebrated Guinean singer and air crews from France and Turkey, as well as Indian and Chinese nationals. Three Chinese, one American and one Belgian were among the dead.

All these incidents the director said are cause for concern and reaffirms the need for operators of hotels to assist security to know foreigners who patronise their services.

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