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General News of Saturday, 29 April 2017

Source: Class FM

Visa fraud: Leakage of letter bad – Ex-MP

A former Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central, Theophilus Tetteh Chai, has said the decision by some unknown persons to leak the confidential letter written to the Speaker of Parliament regarding visa fraud allegations against some MPs is worrying because the letter was meant to be confidential.

According to him, it is customary for occupants of high office in the country to receive letters and circulars, some of them confidential, and so leaking such letters does not serve the interests of those who copied the letter.

Four lawmakers have been cited in separate alleged visa offences by the UK government and a 10-year visa ban placed on them.

The four are Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region; Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North (Ntotroso) in the Brong Ahafo Region; Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West in the Ashanti Region; and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo Sorth.

A confidential letter written to the Speaker of Parliament by the UK government through the UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jon Benjamin, said the four MPs violated UK visa regulations on different occasions by either providing false information for their visa applications or facilitating the visas of some relatives who overstayed their visas in the UK.

But that confidential letter has been leaked to the Ghanaian media.

Speaking on this development on TV3 on Saturday April 29, Mr Tetteh Chai said: “The key word here is ‘confidential’. I believe that once a letter a letter has been written to an institution and one believes that certain institutions should also be in the know, so far as ‘confidential’ has been stated, whether it has been copied to you or you are the beneficiary of that letter, you must adhere to that.

“For me, based on past experiences in terms of documents that have come to us and the sort of people it goes to before it comes to us , I don’t see any problem with the letter [being copied], the only challenge is that at what point was that document leaked?

“And whoever did that did not serve the interest of whoever copied the letter to him or her.”

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