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Neo
16th June 2012, 10:57 PM
Investigations by The Weekend Globe newspaper have exposed high-end prostitution in and around the Accra Mall, Ghana’s most celebrated shopping centre.

For years, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the Cantonments roundabout were the nation’s most notorious red light districts, where prostitutions competed fiercely for clients.

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However, the arrival in 2008 of the Accra Mall, one of the most modern shopping malls in West Africa, appears to have effectively redirected male traffic from the two prostitution hubs to the Tetteh-Quarshie Interchange, The Weekend Globe’s investigations have revealed.

For the past several months, scores of well groomed, wear wearing, make-up inflicted, often gorgeous and young women have been idle walking in and around the Accra Mall area at night to hunt down well-to-do local men and expatriates with enough financial fire power to buy sexual pleasure. But, officials of the Mall will not comment on our findings.

Although not everyone of the seductively dressed young ladies trooping in or out of the Accra Mall is a commercial sex workers, The Weekend Globe’s investigations found that a huge proportion of the young girls who parade themselves on the corridors of the Mall and pavements around the area are prostitutes either waiting to be picked up by their clients or looking out for men seeking sexual adventure.

Workers and frequent visitors to the Mall say these difficult-to-resist ladies mostly ask for lifts around the exit and the parking lot area. Others flag down male-driven posh cars and advertise their services as soon as the driver winds down his side glass. Others, perhaps more confident in their charms or less certain in their leisure, loiter around in circles or find a conspicuous spot at the Mall where they sit chewing on a gum, while taking time to freshen up.

The Weekend Globe spoke randomly to 21 men who frequent the Mall during investigations and found that nearly 37 per cent of men had paid for sex within the past six months. Many were honest about the emotional drivers of their proclivity for paying for sex.

“I come here because I want something sensational and stress relieving,” said an expatriate worker who frequents the Mall to pick prostitutes. “It is pretty expensive. But the service is amazing.”

“It is a truism that a good number of the young ladies you see idling about are looking out for business – and I mean paid for sex,” said Kofi, a young business executive who goes to the Mall on Fridays to chat with friends. “We don’t know where these girls come from, but many speak very good English. Most of them are from our tertiary institutions or nearby hostels.”

But workers within the Mall say The Weekend Globe’s sample of 21 underreported their sexual encounters with commercial sex workers operating within and outside the Mall.

“The truth is it is rampant these days,” said a middle aged worker at the Accra Mall who wished not to be named. “They provide all kinds of every exotic sexual services and experiences, including body massages, to their clients.”

While some of the sex workers who operate around the Mall confessed their trade to The Weekend Globe, others denied being prostitutes.

“I am not waiting for anyone, I just came to hang out,” said Cynthia.

Dzifa said, “I just came to watch a movie, I come here every day to watch a movie, the Mall is [a] nice [place], so I come here.”

Other girls interviewed mostly said they were waiting for someone or were just relaxing there. Prostitution is illegal in Ghana, yet it seems to be popular among young Ghanaian ladies and nationals from other parts of West Africa.



Source: The Weekend Globe newspaper/Ghana