Sakawa is a widespread practice in Ghana which combines modern internet-based fraud practices with traditional Akan religious rituals. It is just the local name for an internet scam. It is so rampantly used nowadays to the extent that even kids would understand who you are talking about just at the mention of the word, Sakawa boys.

It is true that there are internet fraudsters in almost every part of the world, but that of Ghana has really metamorphosed into a higher and ‘more mature’ stage. The Sakawa boys of Ghana do not succeed only with the combination of wits, persuasion, subtlety, expertise, and intelligence which are the normal characteristics of internet scamming; they also use some kinds of ‘abracadabra’. I mean ‘juju’ or call it ‘voodoo’.

The extent to which this underground business has grown in Ghana is quite alarming. These boys are scattered everywhere that you may not be able to cover a distance of ten feet without meeting a group of them, hearing the word or seeing it boldly written somewhere. The worst part of it is that they are making it as well as getting away with it. They ride costly cars and live big. These group of boys usually meet on a Saturday night in Santa Marie, where they show off their fast cars, money, and other things.

According to authoritative sites, Ghana has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Africa and this explains why it is easy to engage in internet scam in the country. These boys are known for playing loud music while driving around in their unlicensed Toyota Camrys and Range Rovers.

Do you know that there are particular areas in Ghana where these rogues are found in greater number?

Here’s a list of areas where you can commonly find the Sakawa Boys:

1. TEMA

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Tema is a city situated on the Bight of Benin and Atlantic coast of Ghana. Boys in Tema are known for hustling and going for what they want at all cost. Everything that can bring money into their pockets is well accepted.

2. ADABRAKA

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Located in the Accra Metropolitan district, Adabraka is one of the very many places Sakawa boys operate from.  These internet criminals are so trained that they can buy goods online with any credit card they manage to steal no matter the security. They even go to the extent of selling stolen credit cards.

3. DANSOMAN

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This is believed to be the biggest town in Accra and one of the largest estate in West Africa. The boys here are ‘shopping professionals’ in the Sakawa business. By shopping, I mean buying goods via the net with stolen credit cards. They are very good at it and have been getting away with the internet scam.

4. ACHIMOTA/MILE 7

Image: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba/PA
Image: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba/PA

This is one of the areas where their activities are also prevalent. At a time, the residents of Achimota had to flee for safety as a result of some mysterious activities in the town suspected to be the handiwork of the Sakawa boys.

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5. LAPAZ/ABEKA

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This area is not left out as these boys go as far as kidnapping young ladies with the intention of using them for money rituals.

6. KASOA

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Kasoa is a busy community where these fraudulent fellows find very conducive niches to thrive in. You will see them being very busy with laptops as if to say there’s a serious legal business they’re doing, pooh!

7. TAIFA

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It is even reported in this town that school children are also involved in the Sakawa business. They abscond from school, sometimes during learning hours, and at other times during break periods to do the business.

8. KUMASI

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Kumasi is the second popular city in Ghana. It is quite surprising that these hackers have gone as far as taking this unholy business to Kumasi. They believe that as youths, they must make money now or never!

9.  NIMA/NEW TOWN/ALAJO

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I call those of them here, hooligans because of how violent and aggressive they are. They are ready to do anything just to see they grab the money. They ended up baptizing themselves ‘ghetto youths’.

10. MADINA

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Madina is one of the not-so-privileged suburbs of Accra and such places are usually the worst hit when it comes to the hideous crimes of these Sakawa boys.

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LAPAZ/ABEKA

This area is not left out as these boys go as far as kidnapping young ladies with the intention of using them for money rituals.

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