Some recruits who have returned from Saudi Arabia have revealed the agencies are now resorting to using Togo and Benin as avenues to transport them to avoid the Ghanaian authorities.
In June this year, the Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah announced the temporary ban to curtail many reported cases of abuse faced by some Ghanaians working in those countries.
But some returnees have revealed to Joy News, agents are still facilitating such travels through neighboring countries.
Ghana’s former Deputy Head of Mission to Saudi Arabia, Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba, lent credence to speculations that government heavyweights and influential persons in society are behind the trafficking of young Ghanaian girls to the Gulf states.
She told Joy News that although she would not mention names, trafficking of girls to the Gulf States, many of whom are abused, has been difficult to fight due to the involvement of these influential persons.
“If you hear the names that go into this kind of business, you will be shocked. I cannot mention names now. But if you hear the type of big names that are involved in this thing you will not respect them again,” she said.
A chilling report by Joy News’ Kwetey Nettey has chronicled the ordeals of Ghanaian girls in the Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia – rape, forced prostitution and physical abuse among accounts by the girls who return home.
23-year-old Beatrice Owusu who returned from Saudi Arabia on Saturday recounting her three-month ordeal to Joy News said she worked as a maid in three different households, which did not yield in her desired result.
She said in the first house she met a Ghanaian by name Rose who advised her and other newly recruited ladies to flee the country because of the unfavourable conditions.
Ms Owusu said their sponsor got to know about the advise and subjected them to severe beatings, after which she was relocated to another house.
Once there, she had no food and even bathing was an issue because she was working 24 hours with no sleep.
According to her, although she had heard such stories about the cruel nature of ladies working in the Gulf, her friend living over there and the agent convinced her.
They told her it was a good place to earn a good living so she started making preparation. From there on, she did not hear from her friend again but the agent explained to her that she had moved.
He assured her nothing bad will happen to her because he will take good care of her.
This energised her to embark on the journey although her mother and sister dissuaded her.
Another returnee, 40-year-old Comfort Aboagye also alleges the agents are paid least ¢20,000 by their Saudi counterparts for each worker, a phenomenon she likens to the slave trade.
The return trip for the two women was facilitated by the Ghana Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
The women claim only 13 out of the dozens at the Deportation Centre in that country made it to Ghana this weekend.