The La District Police Command has uncovered an area within the district where some landlords convert their rooms into brothels for commercial sex workers.
Incidentally the area, which is popularly known as La Apese, is opposite the La Police Station.
Consequently, the police have raided some of the areas, leading to the arrest of 18 suspected commercial sex workers and a man, who was allegedly patronising the services of one of the commercial sex workers.
Those arrested, aged between 16 and 37, comprise five Ghanaians, including the male customer, and 13 Nigerian women.
The landlords evict tenants and give out the rooms to commercial sex workers who pay a daily rent of between GH¢50 and GH¢30, the police said.
The suspected commercial sex workers sit half-naked in front of their rooms constructed like cubicles and call out to passersby in a bid to attract them to patronise their service at fees between GH¢5 and GH¢20.
Briefing the Daily Graphic after touring the area with journalists and some police personnel, the La District Police Command Crime Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Richard Darla, said the issue came up during a recent meeting of stakeholders concerned about the security of the area.
He mentioned that the police gathered intelligence that the area was occupied by women who were engaged in the business.
“Last Saturday at about 9 p.m., we moved to the place and arrested the 18 persons, while others escaped upon seeing the police,” he stated.
Those arrested, Mr Daplah said, had been charged based on Section 275 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).
The law states that any person who in any public place or in the sight of any public place persistently solicits or importunes to obtain clients for any prostitute or for any other immoral purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
In an interview, a resident, who identified herself only as Lydia, said: “The situation is too bad. It is a cause for worry. We are afraid of what our female children will become in future because some of them are being exposed to the activities of the commercial sex workers.
“Our husbands now have little regard for us as they get to have sex virtually for free from these women,” she said.
Lydia noted that the suspected commercial sex workers always had their doors opened, with pornographic videos screening on their television sets.
“Because they pay daily, the landlords are evicting tenants who have lived in their houses for years and they are rather giving the rooms out to these prostitutes. The area is no more safe for parents to bring up their children, especially the girl child,” Lydia said.
One of the landlords, who identified himself as Mr Annan Tetteh, said, “The activities of the people being referred to as prostitutes have been in existence in this area for many years, even before I was born.”
Mr Tetteh, who said he was more than 80 years old and had more than 20 rooms occupied by the suspected commercial workers, said the rooms were rented by some persons who acted as intermediaries and later rented them to the suspected commercial workers.
Another landlord, Mr James Kojo Nmai, 62, admitted that the landlords could collaborate with the police to get rid of the suspected commercial workers in the area “but it will take a long time”.