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General News of Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Illegal immigration spikes in Ghana amidst coronavirus outbreak – GIS

Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) says the country’s border traffic is recording an increasing number of illegal immigrants despite the closure of all entry points.

The immigration authority indicates that various attempts have been made by both Ghanaians and foreigners to illegally cross into Ghana.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Laud Kwesi Ofiri Afrifa, Deputy Comptroller General of the Service said, “We have noted especially along the Aflao border stretch, from Aflao to Akanu, various attempts by individuals both foreigners and Ghanaians to enter illegally.

“They have been intercepted by our border patrol personnel,” he added.

Ghana shut it borders on Sunday following a directive by President Akufo-Addo that all entry and exit points are closed to control the spread of Covid – 19.

The border closure, however, does not apply to goods.

According to the GIS Deputy Comptroller General, the ban has made Ghana’s local borders vulnerable to illegal migrants.

“The situation as it is, is that, because of the closure and the suspension of flights, the concentration is now on our borders,” Ofiri Afrifa said.

Also, he stated that seven Nigerians were caught at the Akanu border on Monday, March 23 but “they were sent back”.

An American who was denied entry in Ghana due to the airline border shut down also attempted making a pass through the local borders. The said America has also been caught and quarantined.

“It was noted that he had landed at the Lome airport from the USA and was attempting to circumvent the suspension.

“He was referred to the health officials, tested and for now, he has tested negative but he is under arrest and detention and being sent into mandatory quarantine,” Mr Afrifa added.

“We have also noted that transporters in the local communities in the Aflao area are aiding people to enter.”

“Twelve okada drivers have been arrested for attempting to smuggle persons across the border. They have been detained and we are still discussing with the police on how to prosecute them,” he said.

Further arrests including five Ghanaians, nine Beninois, three Nigerians, a Malian and three Ivoirians have also been made at the Elubo border.

Five more persons were picked up at the Sogakope inland border and have all been placed on mandatory quarantine.

There have been several attempts by Nigeriens and Burkinabes to travel out of the country by bus, such trips have been stopped, Mr Afrifa said.



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