Fifty-one Ghanaians who were being trafficked to Guinea for mining activities in a boat have been arrested by the Marine Police Unit at the Takoradi Port.
The special boat, which is about twice the size of normal fishing boat, with the inscription “Emmanuel,” was carrying heavy-duty mining equipment and some Ghanaians.
The equipment included huge water pumps, oar milling machines, dozens of shovels and head pans. Also found on the boat were food items, water and extra fuel.
The Marine Police intercepted the special boat upon realising that it was also carrying people believed to be illegal miners.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, one of the passengers said they had been recruited from Akplabanya near Ada in the Greater Accra Region to mine in Guinea.
According to him, the team sailed from Akplabanya through Tema, Accra, Saltpond Basin, with an intention to cross the Tano Basin into Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and to Guinea by sea.
He added that 58 people started the journey but seven of them disembarked and some equipment unloaded because the boat had been overloaded.
Briefing the media on the exercise, the Commander of the Marine Police Unit in the Western Region, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Seidu Iddi, said the boat was intercepted during the normal offshore operations of the Marine Police.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the occupants were being trafficked to Guinea for mining activities.
“I must say that the movement of the heavy duty equipment and people is a criminal offence under Criminal Offences 23 (1),” Commander Iddi stated.
He said the police would impound the boat and place the occupants in custody for further investigations.