Eighteen nationals of two neighbouring countries have been sent back to their countries after coming into Ghana through an unidentified illegal route at Sewum in the Aowin Municipality of the Western North Region.
According to a press release from the Western Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), these people, all males, were made up of 17 Burkinabes and one Ivorian.
The foreign nationals who “are aged between 17 and 55 according to the information retrieved on their ID cards”, were intercepted en route to Kumasi in “two Nissan Caravan mini busses with registration numbers GX 2137-17 and AS 1899-17”.
The “unanimous decision to see to the immediate repatriation of these illegal ECOWAS migrants through the Sewum Border Post” was arrived at after an emergency meeting between the heads of the Municipal Security scheduled to “quickly determine the fate of the suspects”.
“This brings the number of interceptions and repatriation of persons made by the Ghana Immigration Service in the Western Region, through intensified surveillance/patrols and with the support of the various sister security agencies to about 190, since the closure of the country’s borders,” the statement added.
Ghana’s land, sea, and air borders have been closed since Sunday, March 22. Only cargo, goods and supplies are allowed into the country from other countries.
The move is part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country, yet some foreigners continue to illegally find their way into the country.
But since the border closure, many foreign nationals have been arrested in different parts of the country using unapproved routes to enter the country.
Most of these people, after investigations and tests, are noted to be carriers of COVID-19.
In one of the most recent developments, for instance, some 19 Burkina Faso nationals were arrested at the Savelugu inland post in the Northern Region for entering Ghana illegally and repatriated eventually.
A statement from the GIS said the Burkinabes attempted to bribe the men at the post with GHS100 to allow them to continue their journey, but ended up getting arrested after the officials rejected the offer.
Immigrants to be dealt with
Foreigners who enter into Ghana when the country’s borders have been closed will be dealt with together with their Ghanaian accomplices.
This was announced by President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, April 26, 2020, when he addressed the nation on measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Ghana.
The President gave the warning after reports emerged that 17 out of 67 passengers who were intercepted near Nkwanta by officers of the Immigration Service and other security personnel recently for illegally entering the region from Accra during the period of the lockdown, tested positive for COVID-19.
Read GIS’ press release below:
A team of Immigration Officers led by the Asankragwa Municipal Commander, of the Ghana Immigration Service, DSI/FRANCIS KOFI APAW have together with their colleagues from the Police and BNI on patrols intercepted two Nissan Caravan mini busses with registration numbers GX 2137-17 and AS 1899-17 en route to Kumasi.
This intelligence-led joint operation, which took place on Friday, 1st May, 2020 at about 0920HRS, resulted in the arrest of Seventeen (17) Burkinabe nationals and an Ivorian, bringing the total to eighteen (18). These all-male suspects are aged between Seventeen (17) and Fifty-Five (55) years according to the information retrieved on their ID cards.
Investigations conducted after their arrest proved that all the suspects had entered the country through an unidentified illegal route at Sewum in the Aowin Municipality, of the Western North Region.
The severity of the security challenges this poses to our dear country, in the wake of our fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, informed the Municipal Security heads to convene an emergency meeting, to quickly determine the fate of the suspects. At the said meeting, a unanimous decision to see to the immediate repatriation of these illegal ECOWAS migrants through the Sewum Border Post was arrived at.
At the Sewum Border Post, which falls under the Dadieso Sector Command of GIS, a team of Immigration Officers led by the 2IC, DSI/DESMOND ALABISON, received the subjects for further investigations; before finally handing them over to the Ivorian authorities.
This brings the number of interceptions and repatriation of persons made by the Ghana Immigration Service in the Western Region, through intensified surveillance/patrols and with the support of the various sister security agencies to about One Hundred and Ninety (190), since the closure of the country’s Borders.
The Western Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service, is by this release, reaffirming its unwavering commitment in ensuring the continuous maintenance of optimum security within our various entry points in the region.
We are, therefore, appealing to all well-meaning people of the Western Region, especially the leadership of the communities doted across our border lines, as well as transport operators to assist by volunteering useful information in this regard.
LET’S FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS TOGETHER.
ASSIST. INSP. MOSES MANFORD AKAKPO
(W/R PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER)