General News of Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Immigration personnel at the Aflao border in the Volta region have accused persons they describe as miscreants of physically attacking them while on duty.
Commander of the Aflao Border Control Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service, Adam Usman said the situation has rendered them powerless to control crime in the area, complaining further that their lives are in danger.
The alleged hoodlums engage in the smuggling of cocoa and fuel from Ghana to neighboring countries like Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
Speaking on Joy News Wednesday, the Commander stated they have been working under very difficult conditions at the border.
“Our major challenge now is not just about being able to screen and find out who is not supposed to enter Ghana or who should enter. But the reality on the ground is that the locals; the okada boys in town have taken over all these bits and an immigration officer at the bits cannot do his work well. The immigration officer is beaten almost every other day,” Mr. Usman narrated.
He recounted one of his female subordinates was nearly attacked when she tried stopping a local, who was crossing the border through an illegal route into Lome, with a car.
Joy News’ Hubert Mawuli Yevuagbi reported that because the Border Control Unit was unarmed, efforts to stop the illegal movement of persons and goods were resisted by the supposed criminals.
The personnel and other health officials are currently strengthening measures at the border to avert any possible entry for suspected Ebola patients.
Aflao is the major border town at the South-Eastern part of Ghana, serving as a transit point between Ghana and Togo. It has two approved routes for crossing the border to and from Lome, the Togolese capital.
There are 23 other illegal routes used by youth living along the border for the smuggling of goods into Togo.
Also, the routes are used for activities such as unlawful entry of foreigners, extortion and sexual harassment of female travellers.