The northern Regional Police Command has rescued 50 children who were being trafficked from Nabdam in the Upper East Region to Kumasi.
Briefing The Mirror on how the children were rescued, the Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), ASP Emmanuel Holortu, said the bus, conveying the 50 children and seven adults, was on its way to Kumasi from Nabdam.
According to ASP Holortu, when the bus got to Buipe in the Northern Region around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. the police at the road checkpoint detected that most of the passengers were children and decided to interrogate the driver.
He said the driver could not give convincing answers to most of the questions he was asked and the police decided to escort him and the passengers back to Tamale for DOVVSU to conduct further investigations into the matter.
ASP Holortu said preliminary investigations into the matter revealed that some of the children were as young as four years and the adults amongst them claimed to be relatives of the children who were escorting them to Kumasi to give them out to some relatives.
He said some of the children corroborated the stories of the adults, “but we know that trafficked children are usually coached to say that those trafficking them are their relatives and we cannot allow what the children are saying to convince us to let them go without conducting thorough investigation into the matter”.
ASP Holortu said the driver also claimed he did not know the children, as he only went to the lorry station in Bolgatanga to load passengers for Kumasi and officials of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) loaded his car with those passengers.
He said 37 of the children were females (most of them in their teens) and expressed apprehension that such children could easily be pushed into prostitution by the traffickers if they were allowed to get to Kumasi.
The DOVVSU Co-ordinator said if investigations proved that the children were indeed being trafficked to Kumasi, they would be sent back to Bolgatanga for the police there to help trace the communities they came from and re-unite them with their families.
According to ASP Holortu, those found to have breached any aspect of the law will be dealt with.