Interpol officials in Niger have rescued some 180 Ghanaian men who traveled to the West African nation only to be enslaved.
Police say they first found 115 men “whose travel documents had been confiscated by traffickers.
“Victim interviews revealed that after a bus trip from Ghana, they were met by individuals who led them to the compound and refused to let them out.”
According to the police “two days later, 65 more men arrived. All of the men had been recruited online from Ghana and promised” decent work in Niamey.
Like other recruitment agencies that exploit victims, these Ghanaians were told “their travel fees and all costs relating to their recruitment, including commissions, would be deducted from future wages.”
These men were rescued as part of a larger operation by Interpol in Niger which also resulted in the rescuing of hundreds of women and children forced into sex work.
Some of the traffickers were also arrested as police continue with investigations.
Barka Dankassoua, head of the Interpol National Central Bureau in Niamey said “Operation Sarraounia has shed much light on several criminal groups and trafficking routes.
The skills our officers have learned will be put to good use as we follow up on a number of leads.”
Operation Sarraounia was carried out with support of the Human Dignity Foundation, the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World and Project Flyway.