Princess Asie Ocansey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Channel of Blessing Ministry, has been arrested for allegedly recruiting young Ghanaian women and men to work in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as domestic servants and butchers.
Princess Ocansey hosts a radio programme on Sunny FM every Saturday afternoon and uses that platform to recruit her victims.
She has apparently also visited churches where she lured youngsters into believing that their lives would change for the better if they travelled outside the country.
The Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Patience Quaye, said the complainants in Ocansey's case were the American Embassy in Accra and a young woman.
The identity of the woman, aged 27, has been withheld.
According to the police, the suspect allegedly lured the young woman, a devout Christian, to Kuwait under the pretense that she would live a better life there, when in fact she was sending her off to a trying ordeal.
The police said the young woman was made to believe that she was going to work in a supermarket but she was rather pushed into prostitution.
After that, the young woman was brought back from Kuwait about two months ago, suffering from serious mental health problems that resulted from her mistreatment.
Supt Quaye said the victim had told the police about her horrifying experience after she was brought to the unit by her uncle and brothers.
At the time, she was screaming and running around the car park of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service. When her relatives finally managed to calm her down, she started screaming, “I will not die, I will not die."
Supt Quaye said the victim looked pale, dehydrated and drowsy, so after taking her statement and that of her uncle, they sent her to the 37 Military Hospital for treatment, where she remained on admission for some weeks.
She added that the doctors at the hospital could not immediately administer any drugs to the victim because she had been heavily sedated and kept passing out.
After the young woman’s discharge from the hospital, Supt. Quaye reported that she narrated her ordeal to the police, claiming that many other young Ghanaian girls were suffering the same fate that she had.
Some of the victims are even said to have even lost their lives through the ordeal.
According the victim’s statement to the police, she heard the announcement for the work abroad program on the radio and followed up at Princess Asie Ocansey's office in Tema.
After a few days of orientation, the young woman and six others were sent to Kuwait to work in a huge supermarket.
On arrival, she said, three Arab men met them and packed all seven of them and their luggage into a car.
As soon as they arrived at their destination, their passports, luggage and mobile phones were taken from them.
Then, they were put into a room where they met young women from other countries.
The victim indicated that they were not given water or food and for the two days that they stayed in the room, it was locked from outside and ventilation in the room was very poor.
The door was only opened when men from various recruiting agencies came to collect the women who they thought could serve as prostitutes.
She was initially relieved on being picked by one of the men, thinking that she was going to work in the supermarket.
She was then moved from one location to another where she had to sleep with men. At one point, she passed out because she couldn't take it anymore.
She pleaded with the doctor who treated her in the hospital in Kuwait to call her family in Ghana.
It was through this doctor’s efforts that she was able to get in touch with her family, who compelled Ocansey to bring her back to Ghana.
Following her arrest, Ocansey told the police that she is not the only person in Ghana who, under the protection of labour laws, recruits girls to work in Gulf states.
She said that several girls had been sent there to work and that the victim was not the only woman she had sent.
According to Ocansey, she had information from her counterparts in Kuwait that shortly after her arrival, the victim fell in love with a Kuwaiti man.
According to Princess Asie Ocansey, the man, after sleeping with her, realised that the young woman was a virgin and therefore ended their relationship.
She claimed it was the end of this relationship that caused the young woman to develop a mental problem.
Supt Quaye said the American Embassy had also made a complaint against Ocansey.
Ocansey is currently on police enquiry bail assisting in their investigations.