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  • on 26.10.2009
  • at 06:43 PM
  • by Staff

Anas Aremeyaw: My investigative journalism 5

Anas Aremeyaw Anas doesn’t like to be photographed. His desire to preserve anonymity in front of the public opinion is so strong that when he was awarded during the Natali Prize for journalism on October 21 – he won the second prize for the best African report – his face was hidden.

An investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw is specialized in human rights. His investigations clearly show violations affecting Western Africa, the area he covers mostly.

His latest butt: Chinese sex mafia. During six months of undercover work inside a Chinese sex mafia circle, posing and working as a bar tender, Anas Aremeyaw did an exposé on the dubious activities. Under the pretext of securing them jobs as opera singers in Africa, these traffickers lured young Chinese girls out of their home country.

The dangerous investigation made for the New Cruisading Guide – independent Ghanese newspapers – has paid. Three traffickers, among whom there was the network’s boss King James, were sentenced to 41 years of prison in Accra.

“Justice has been made,” says Anas Aremeyaw interviewed by Afronline.

He has a clear idea of journalism. “I am a committed reporter, but I don’t wan to denounce only. I want to be sure that my investigations could lead to sufficient proof for the final sentence. That’s why I use hidden camera often. Irrefutable evidences are necessary part of my job”.

Thanks to his method, in 2007 Anas dismantled a criminal network and a group of corrupted officials who gave false documents and visa for traffickers’ use. His collaboration with the police saved 17 Nigerian women whose destiny was being prostituted across Europe and the U.S.

Talking about your investigation on the Chinese sex mafia, how did you start?

After my discovery of the criminal network exploiting Nigerian prostitutes, I decided to open my investigative area to the whole Western Africa. That is how I discovered the presence of Chinese women sexually exploited and abused in numerous countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Benin. I have been told about a boss, King James, the head of a trafficking network with the heart in the Peach Bossom Palace, the richest casino of Ghana. It was the meeting-point where girls from China without regular documents were sold for 6,000 US dollars.

These Chinese girls believed that they would have landed in Africa to work honestly, but the reality was different. They became sexual slaves.

How did you make this investigation?

I decided to work as a bar tender in the hotels where King James managed his illegal activities. After months of work, a prostitute told me what was happening in the brothel where she worked. As I always do, I had hidden camera with me, a fact that made me take a sufficient amount of evidences to help police to arrest traffickers.

I admit there was a lucky circumstance: my girlfriend was living in the palace where traffickers were settled, so it was quite easy to follow their movements.

Have you ever been afraid of being discovered?

No, never. But risk has become a natural part of my job. To be honest, I got used to it.

What has led you focus on this kind of journalism?

I just had to put together my passion for this job and the will to denounce human rights’ violations. And I want my efforts to have concrete results.

Africa is full of associations that regularly denounce illegal trafficking and human rights’ violations, but they often haven’t sufficient evidences to go in front of a court and win.

That’s why it is needed to create a strong dossier that could lead only to a condemnation of accused people.

Who is currently financing your investigations?

The newspapers I work with. I am lucky: the editors-in-chief I collaborate with trust me. And I live in a country, Ghana, where civil freedoms are usually respected.

What will your next investigation be?

I am working on an investigation on a centre for mental ill people. But I won’t say anything more, of course…

By Joshua Massarenti - Afronline

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There are 5 comments for this post

  1. Gyambibi Owusu Akwasi says:

    Good work Anas, keep up the spirit for fighting for the weak,poor,the voiceless,women and the marginalised. The whole of Ghana is rallying behind you.

  2. Dear Gyambibi Akwasi,

    Thank you for your kind words. I met Anas in Stockholm last October: amazing journalist!

  3. thanks for this oppotunity brother,
    it is always said that, if truth is your backbone the fearlest will be the front sign board,
    Nawoni ni sung tuma cam a noo ti yan tum’ i do admire your passion and selfless work towards helping the nationa ghana and the globe to build or develop with non-corrupt leaders and followers.
    thank you.
    on behalf of your Northern brothers and sister we are always proud of you and may Allah help and guide you alaways and may we benefit positively from your work. please keep it up!!!
    i will be glad to proposed for collaboration between my consultancy firm (Flip Africa Media Consult – Ghana) FAMeC Ghana Limited and your reputable outfit for stategies and plans towards promoting and projecting the developmental agenda of the North and ghana as a whole. please reply after reading this brotherhood message.

  4. Marthamuthoni says:

    Ditermination can overcome insurmountable barriers.

  5. Marthamuthoni says:

    U mek us proud anyway hea in kenya.God bless you.

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