The Koforidua Circuit Court has sentenced four persons to jail for human trafficking, child abuse and child exploitation, ABC News can report.
The accused Akwetey Kwame popularly known as Frenchman, Mawusi Amlade, Kobla Egbezutor, also known as Tata and Gadri Agbake, alias JJ were on 25th October 2019 put before the Circuit Court B in Koforidua, with the offences of conspiracy to commit crime to wit, human trafficking, Human Trafficking, engaging a child in exploitative labour and hazardous work.
Two of the four accused, Akwetey Kwame and Mawusi Amlade pleaded guilty to all the charges levelled against them by the prosecution. The court, therefore, on their own plea sentenced them to 5 years imprisonment.
However, the other two, Kobla Egbezutor and Gadri Agbake pleaded not guilty to the first and second counts but pleaded guilty to third and fourth counts. They were, therefore, convicted on their own plea and sentenced to a fine of GHS 3,600 each, in default, fifteen months imprisonment with hard labour.
The court, presided over by Her Honour Mercy Adei Kotei, however, granted them bail on the first and second counts and set to be arraigned before the court on 22nd November 2019.
According to Sergeant Gomado, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command, the two were not able to pay their fines and hence sentenced to a prison term. They were subsequently transported to Koforidua Prison to start serving their sentences.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Eastern Regional Police Command undertook an operation on the 25th October 2019 at about 2 am that resulted in the arrest of the four convicted persons.
The team rescued three children aged between 8 to 15 who were used by the convicted for fishing on the Afram River.
Sergeant Francis Gomado said the team, made up of Seven Investigators from the Eastern Regional Police command led by Detective Inspector Emmanuel Kuvlo together with two workers from Social Welfare Department among other stakeholders, acting upon intelligence embarked on the rescue operation and arrest at Ekye Amanfrom, a fishing community located along the Volta Lake in the Afram Plains District.