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31 March 2009 | Crime & Punishment

Sex victims are my neighbours -accused told court

The Statesman

The wife of James Xu Jim, who is alleged to have registered a non-existent hotel in Ghana to lure some Chinese citizens into the country to engage in prostitution, has disclosed that four of the victims were her neighbours in China.

Chow Ziou Ying told the court in her evidence-in-chief that she grew up with the girls, names withheld, in China. According to her, she had to convince her husband that the girls were her neighbours before he agreed to bring them to Ghana to work in their restaurant.

She told the court that, apart from one of the victims that she and the husband brought to Ghana, the rest called her in Ghana to express their desire to come to Ghana and work in the restaurant.

She observed that they (the husband and she) were very surprised when accused of forcing the girls into prostitution. Chow Ziou Ying stated that the couple had on several occasions complained about the nefarious activities of the girls in Ghana and intended to send them back home when their visas expire.

She said in October 2007, the couple decided to operate a restaurant and so went back to China to make purchases, meet their families and also bring a waitress for the restaurant. She said because they had not prepared themselves well they could not operate the restaurant within the planned one month.

"We told the girl (the one they brought from China) that they would not be able to operate the restaurant and therefore she should go back to China, but she refused because she claimed Ghana is a nice place and begged to stay,' she told the court. She denied all the allegations leveled against them.

During the cross-examination, Chow Ziou Ying said in her husband's home town, James Garden means the same as Peach Blossom.

She insisted that the restaurant exists and is located at La near the police station, but however denied knowledge of the address of the restaurant which was house number 287, Winneba Road, Odorkor, and not La as claimed by the defence.

She later explained that because she does not understand the English language she did not know what address her husband used to register the restaurant.  

The three Chinese citizens, James Xu Jin, Chow Ziou Ying and Sam Shan are facing two counts of offences of conspiracy and human trafficking. They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

According to the police, in or around August 2008 and 2009, the police received information that some Chinese nationals had trafficked into the country some Chinese females for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

A team of senior police officers went to a house at Agyemang, a suburb of La in the Greater Accra Region, where the three accused persons were arrested. Seven victims were rescued in the process

 The three were arrested for alleged human trafficking. A search in the house revealed a lot of sex objects and contraceptives.

A Toyota pickup allegedly used to transport the victims in the sex trade was also impounded and sent to the police headquarters. During investigations, James Xu Jim and his wife, Chow Ziou Ying admitted to bringing the victims from China for the purpose of sex exploitation.

 Sam Shan also admitted transporting the victims to their clients. One of the victims told the police that they pay $150 out of their day"s earnings to James Xu Jim and his wife, Chow Ziou Ying.

quot-img-1Love your neighbor like your spare tyre, or find yourself under his/her car.

By: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe quot-img-1