Court fines sex workers, patrons

Thirty-one commercial sex workers and their two male patrons who were arrested on June 9 in a police swoop have been fined by an Accra district court.

The Osu District Court ordered them to pay a fine of GH¢720 each or in default serve six months in prison. They will be imprisoned for one year if they are arrested again.

They also signed bonds to be of good behaviour after the police had charged them for soliciting for immoral purpose, and importuning.

Nine of them who could not pay the fine were remanded into prison custody. 

All the accused persons pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted they were commercial sex workers, while the two men among them also admitted patronising the services of the sex workers.

Under, section 255 of the Criminal Code, Act 29 (1960), it is an offence for anyone to stand by the roadside or in an obscure place to smile at the opposite sex and make gestures with the purpose of engaging in prostitution or other immoral purposes.

The Cantonments District Police, in a swoop last Monday, arrested the commercial sex workers while they were busily soliciting for patronage near the Danquah Circle, the Togolese Embassy,  the Italian Embassy and their environs in Accra.

The operation formed part of efforts by the Cantonments Police to rid the streets of Accra of prostitutes.

Those arrested were between the ages of 18 and 40. 

Police undercover operatives also engaged the service of some of the commercial sex workers who stood by the road side and beckoned cars and men passing to stop and then offered to go with them to a hotel or their homes to offer their services.  

  Complaints from residents  
The exercise was executed as a result of the numerous complaints from diplomats and other residents of  the area to the police.

 The Cantonments District Police Commander, Mr Iddi Seidu, said some of the residents claimed that they were harassed by the prostitutes in the evenings when they returned home from work.

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