The Western Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), through its Axim Sector Command, has rounded up 31 people for their alleged involvement in prostitution and Human trafficking within and around a notorious brothel known as Bafana Bafana Resort, in the Ellembelle District and Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
GIS in a statement said the two-day intelligence-led operation began with a swoop on the said brothel and some adjourning drinking bars and makeshift structures within the Essiama enclave, resulting in the arrest of the suspects aged between 22 years and 37 years.
The operation which lasted several hours led to the arrest of 17 suspects/victims, including the owner and manager of the facility, Mr. Kofi Bekoe, 62 years.
Subsequently, the other 12 in addition to the two suspected human trafficking collaborators were picked up in two separate mop-up operations later on Saturday evening and in the early hours of Sunday.
“In all, the over thirty hours (30hrs) of sustained operation saw to the arrest of twenty-eight (28) suspected prostitutes, including two (2) nursing mothers.
“The other suspects were the two (2) suspected Traffickers, Mr Ndubueze Okereke, 37yrs and his wife, Ifeoma Okereke, 35yrs, all Nigerians with the exception of Mr Kofo Bekoe, who is a Ghanaian and the host of a suspected Trafficking syndicate.”
“This particular operation was planned and successfully carried out with the support from the authorities of the above-mentioned assemblies, owing to the growing concerns of the nefarious activities, especially by some of the foreign nationals within the said communities, and the impunity with which the brothel operated,” the GIS stated.
The statement added that the search conducted as part of the investigations revealed that all the suspects entered the country illegally and therefore were without passports or any other travel identification documents, adding further search on them and the premises exposed packs of used and unused condoms, especially in the rooms.
More so, the GIS underscored that in a related development, the very same Mr Bekoe was arrested some months ago and granted bail to continue with the investigations into a case of harbouring foreign nationals engaged in prostitution, contrary to Act 29 of the Criminal Code of 1960, Aliens’ Registration Regulation 1974 (L.I. 856) and Section 13 of the Immigration Service Act 2000 (ACT 573) among other relevant legislations in Ghana.
Meanwhile, it said the suspects are currently in the custody of the Western Regional Command Headquarters for further investigations, prosecution, and subsequent repatriation to their country.
“The Service is by this statement averting the minds of Landlords and property owners across the country to be mindful of the existence of the above-stated laws and their consequences by checking and confirming the immigration status of all would-be foreign tenants before renting out their properties to them,” the GIS added.