Police in the Central Region have impounded a bus carrying 120 children aged between 3 and 15 years suspected to be trafficked.
The bus was stopped at Moree Barrier near Cape Coast upon a tip-off, according to the police, who are holding the driver and a couple of elderly women who claim they have lawful custody of the children from their parents.
According to Joy News correspondent Richard Kojo Nyarko, the women, some of them nursing mothers, claimed the children are on school vacation and were being sent to the Western Region to engage in fishing expedition.
Corporal Raymond Asaba, the Central Regional Police Public Relations Officer, told Joy News the women’s claims would have to be investigated.
“It is true that our men on duty at Moree Barrier had information that there were some trucks full of children and that they hinted headquarters and they detailed men to intercept them and we brought them. They are numbering about 120 as you said and their claim is that it is a seasonal thing; that normally during this time when the children are on holidays they do travel to Half Asini and when school reopens they return.
“As to whether what they are telling us is true or not the regional crime officer has asked that detectives should go to the place and find out…”
Corporal Raymond Asaba said human trafficking and child labour are both offences under the law and the police would be looking to see if the law is being fouled. Besides, he said it is even not allowed that children of such tender age as three years are allowed to travel unaccompanied.
“The law does not prevent a child from being sent to a parent or auntie, but the motive behind the sending of the children is what we want to establish now looking at the number involved where we suspect there maybe foul play somewhere…”