- On March 31, 2020
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24 March 2020 | Myjoyonline
Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has revealed that the number of illegal immigrants into the country continues to rise despite the closure of all borders.
According to the Service, there have been various attempts by persons both Ghanaians and foreigners to illegally enter the country for various purposes.
Laud Kwesi Ofiri Afrifa, Deputy Comptroller General of the Service told the press Tuesday “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’s borders Sunday were closed following a directive by President Akufo-Addo that all borders in the country should be shut as part of measures to control the spread of Covid – 19.
President announced this Saturday and called for the shutdown of all the country’s borders- land, air, and sea- at midnight.
He however added that “the closure does not apply to goods.”
The GIS Deputy Comptroller General said 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.
He also revealed that on Monday, March 23, seven Nigerians were caught at the Akanu border.
“They were sent back,” he said.
An American who also failed access into the country [because of the airline border shut down] tried to get into Ghana through the local borders and 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.
Their motorbikes, he added, have been impounded.
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.
Mr Afrifa also said that although there have been several attempts by Nigeriens and Burkinabes to travel out of the country by buses, such travels have been stopped.
He, however, issued a word of caution to all Ghanaians especially persons at post at various borders to be cautious about their dealings because “when the Coronavirus hits, it will hit them too.”
“We are not in normal times. So the manner they have been operating in conspiring to smuggle in and out of the country should cease,” he said.
He also called on the border authorities to collaborate with security agencies in the country to ensure sanity at Ghana’s various borders.
“We expect them at this time to corporate with the security agencies. They should inform us of illegal entries rather than heeding them,” he said.