Judge commends police, social welfare, others for fight against human trafficking

The Supervising High Court Judge in the Volta Region, Mr Eric Baah, has commended the Ghana Police Service, Department of Social Welfare and the International Justice Mission for their valiant roles in the pursuit, arrest and subsequent conviction a fortnight ago of the Volta Lake couple known for their notoriety in human trafficking.

He also praised the counsel for the republic, Mr Andrews Adugu and the Attorney General’s Department for the hard work and diligence which resulted in the successful prosection and caging of the duo.

Fishmonger, Aku Kedevi, 40, and her fisherman boy friend, Michael Boti, 63, earned extra money from trafficking children from one location to another, subjecting them to brutish servitude in the fishing business.

They were found guilty of trafficking nine children, including one Nigerian from their homes between 2015 and 2017 to locations far away, where they exploited the children in mid-waters on the Volta Lake and outside the lake as well, to enrich themselves.

The Spectator last Saturday carried the full story of their trial at a Ho High Court.

The court sentenced Kedevi and Boti to 10 years and eight years imprisonment in hard labour respectively for human trafficking.

For conspiracy to commit human trafficking, Kedevi and Boti were sentenced to five years imprisonment each, while Boti was slammed with an additional seven-year jail term for the use of trafficked persons.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Giving judgement, Mr Justice Baah, presiding, said that the victims suffered pain and trauma in their formative years when they had the least capacity to cope.

“Their parents deserted them. Society cannot fail them. If their lives are not put back on, it is the society that will suffer their future vengeance. They need care and support,” the court added.

The court ordered the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Department of Social Welfare to make the necessary arrangements for the victims’ custody, their welfare and education or training.

Meanwhile, the court described Kedevi as a disgrace to womanhood, saying that as a matured woman she was expected to show compassion to children and work to secure their security but she did the opposite.

The court branded Boti, a chief, as a failed leader of his community.

“As a chief, he was expected to trumpet the campaign against human trafficking and child slavery.

“Instead, he gleefully subjected other people’s children to bondage and servitude, as he sought the best of education for his own children,” the court said.

 From Alberto Mario Noretti, Ho

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