A total of 41 people have been arrested by personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at Babile Inland Post in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region for attempting to enter the country illegally.
The people, comprising of 39 Ivoirians and two Ghanaians who were traveling on two Sprinter buses with Registration Numbers AW 253-14 and GE 8700-12 through an unapproved route were intercepted on Monday by personnel of the immigration service at Babile through intelligence.
Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, Mr Peter Nkrumah, Upper West Regional Commander of the GIS disclosed this to the media on Tuesday.
He said the two Ghanaians were sent to where they came from while the 39 Ivoirians have been sent to Sampa in the Bono Ahafo Region to be dispatched back to where they came from.
He also disclosed that eight others including two Ghanaians and six Burkinabes were also arrested for passing through unapproved route into the country.
The Regional Commander of the GIS further disclosed that on Monday, April 13, at about 0945hrs, a Malian was also arrested for coming into the country through unapproved route and was picked up by two Ghanaians including a police man using a Land Cruiser Vehicle.
Mr Nkrumah said after briefing the Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih and the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Osei Afreh Kuffuor, they agreed that the Malian be quarantined at the Regional Hospital.
“We know the economic hardship in the sub region but this is an enemy we are fighting – “COVID-19 is a giant enemy we are fighting and we must all collaborate to make sure that we defeat the enemy”, he said.
“We the Immigration personnel who are on the ground will make sure that the directive of the President is implemented to the latter; we are not going to accept anybody that passes through unapproved route into the country”, he emphasized.
“Monitoring the event on daily basis, we are realizing that all those crossing through the illegal routes are positive to the virus”, said the Regional Commander of Immigration.
Mr Nkrumah appealed to residents of the border communities to give out information on all those people trying to use the unapproved routes to enter into the country.
“We should all know that government is fighting for the safety of all citizens, therefore, this fight should not only be for the security officers alone”, he added.
We are appealing to everybody to come on board; border residents must come on board to help Immigration and other security officers to make sure that we protect our borders from the illegal immigrants who might carry the disease into our country.
Mr Nkrumah appealed to the people who were engaged in illegal aiding of people into the country as a business to stop; emphasizing “these are not normal times”.
On challenges, the Regional Commander of Immigration noted that the unapproved routes were many with less men and logistics such as vehicles for effective monitoring, hence, the need for all to support.