Surprise as police arrest anti-gay blackmailers in Ghana


Gay men are often the victims of extortion in Africa, thanks to their status as a stigmatised sexual minority across much of the continent.

With the double whammy of being illegal citizens, in many cases the police are not informed, fail to act or even arrest or further blackmail the victims themselves.

In a recent incident in Ghana, however, it appears that the police actually did their job and secured some justice for one gay man.

According to Graphic Online, six men conspired to lure a male social worker via the gay dating app Grindr to a house in Christian Village, Accra, under the pretence of meeting for a date.

On 1 April, when the victim arrived at the address with his “date”, he was locked inside and forced to strip naked. He was also robbed of his mobile phone, a power bank and cash.

The men then took pictures of him naked and threatened to post them on Facebook unless he paid them Gh¢1,000 (R3,000). He was eventually released four hours later.

The Tesano Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Ms Lydia Donkor, told journalists that the victim reported the incident to the police. Working with the authorities he contacted one of the criminals and arranged to meet again to hand over the blackmail fee.

The police arrested two of the men when they showed up to collect the money.

Gay sex, described in the country’s penal code as “Unnatural Carnal Knowledge”, is illegal in Ghana and carries a sentence of three years in prison.

Last month, it was reported that two men were arrested and outed on social media for having consensual sex in a hotel room after the receptionist called the police.

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