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28.11.2003 General News

Interpol Arrests Alleged Human Trafficker

By Mirror
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The International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) in collaboration with the local police has arrested a 54-year-old Ghanaian nurse practising in Nigeria, who lured two of her nephews to that country and allegedly offered them for sale to be killed for ritual purposes but were saved in a mysterious way.

Ms Happy Afua Awudey, a native of Akrofu-Xeviwofe in the Ho District of the Volta Region who is in private medical practice at Seme-Border, was sick and had been brought down from Nigeria to Accra for treatment when she was arrested at the residence of her daughter at Ashale Botwe, near Accra, upon a tip-off but was granted police enquiry bail with a surety on health grounds.

She was said to have been in Akrofu last Christmas and taken two of her nephews, Patrick Awudey, 35, alias Brown Korku, unemployed, and Wise Adeku-Agbeli, 27, a fridge mechanic, away to work for her without informing any relative. Again she warned the victims not to inform them either, which they obliged unsuspectingly.

According to the victims, Ms Awudey had told them that was the only way she could help them to take advantage of promising opportunities in Nigeria and the two had accepted the offer to go along with her.

Narrating the ordeal to The Mirror, Wise said when Ms Awudey visited home he repaired a faulty fridge for her and having felt satisfied with the job done, she promised to take him and Patrick along on her next visit since she would not like their talents to be wasted in the village.

Wise said Ms Awudey told them that she had some fridges that were not working in her private clinic, Happy Maternity Home, at the Seme-Border in Nigeria and said they could work on them first after which she would get them customers to make them earn more money.

He said on January 2, this year, they took off and met Ms Awudey in Ho as planned earlier without informing any relative and on reaching Aflao, she collected all the money they had on them with the explanation that they could be attacked at the border and may end up losing their hard earned money. But she did not give them back the money when they got to Nigeria.

According to them, they were fed by her for two weeks but she later changed her attitude towards them and engaged them in odd jobs including unholy practices that transpired in the clinic. Her aim, they said, was to implicate them unnecessarily in cases.

All this while, they did not know there was a hidden agenda against them. “We struggled before getting our daily bread in that foreign land and she collected everything we realised from our own struggles at the end of each day,” Wise alleged in tears.

He further narrated that to their surprise, on June 15, when they returned from one of their usual rounds in town, Ms Awudey met them with a quarrel and asked them to leave the house immediately to look for a place themselves. He said it was impossible to do so at that time but she refused to listen to their appeals, Suddenly they were picked up by some unknown men at about 11.30 p. m.

Wise alleged that they were sent to the Atlantic beach at Seme and were chained together under serious humiliation and torture. Their abductors told them in plain words that they would be killed. Later, Ms Awudey came around and pleaded that Patrick should be released, leaving Wise in the chain.

According to him, when the alleged murderers left for consultations for a while, he started praying and suddenly the padlock on the chain automatically unlocked and he managed to escape. After a hot chase by the murderers, he managed to hide himself since it was night. His colleague Patrick, who was waiting to see what would be done to him, later met him and they both ran away from Seme to Ogudu, also in Nigeria.

They said fortunately, on reaching Ogudu, they met a friend who directed them to a Ghanaian home where they met some citizens from Akrofu who quickly mobilised funds to send Patrick back home to inform the family while Wise was later repatriated when they narrated their ordeal.

In her statement, Ms Awudey admitted the allegations but explained that she also took that action against the boys because of their behaviour towards her. She, however, denied having given them up to be killed, arguing that she had handed them over to be disciplined.

She is currently at Ho assisting the police in further investigations.

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