COVID-19: GIS arrests Ghanaian doctor, 30 others for crossing into Ghana illegally

Seven Nigerians who attempted to enter Ghana illegally have been intercepted and sent back to Togo across the Ghana-Togo border, Deputy Comptroller of the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr Laud Kwesi Affrifah has announced.

This follows the shutting down of the country’s borders on Sunday, 22 March 2020.

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the entry closure as part of further measures being taken by his government to tighten the noose on the coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.

Ghana has so far recorded 52 cases and 2 deaths.

The government has also placed a ban on all public gatherings.

Mr Affrifah told journalists at a press briefing on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 in Accra that the GIS arrested some persons for illegally attempting to enter the country through the borders following the entry closures.

Mr Affrifah: “We have noted, especially, along the Aflao border stretch, various attempts by individuals, both foreigners and Ghanaians, to enter illegally. They have been intercepted by our border patrol personnel.”

Also, on 23 March, “The Akano border patrol officers intercepted some Nigerians who had entered illegally. Three males and four females. They were sent back across the border to Togo. Earlier on 23 March, [personnel at the] Aflao [border] arrested an American who had also crossed over from Togo, we believe, with collusion with officials across. It was noted that he had landed at the Lome Airport on the 20th of March from the USA”, he said.

According to Mr Affrifah, the man was referred to the health officials and tested negative “but he’s under arrest” and has been detained. He would also be mandatorily quarantined.

Mr Affrifah also indicated that people are being aided by locals to cross over into Ghana at the Aflao border.

“Twelve okada riders were arrested yesterday for attempting to smuggle things across the border. They have been arrested and we’re discussing with the police how to prosecute them, possibly. The motorbikes have been impounded”, he saidf.

Also, at the Sogakope inland border post, Mr Affrifah noted: “A Ghanaian, a doctor, who also flew in through Lome and entered illegally, was intercepted there. Checks on his passport reveal that he had flown in through USA. Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to Lome, so, we’re watching that border post very closely because that is where we’re seeing the tendency of persons moving through and significantly, this Ghanaian is a doctor; we expect him to know better.

“The other two are Ivorians. They all hired vehicles from the Aflao border and were moving to Accra. The drivers in the vehicle have also been arrested and they’re all being sent into mandatory quarantine and thereafter the issue of prosecution will be considered. From Elubo this morning, 21 persons have also been arrested attempting to enter illegally: Five Ghanaians, nine Beninois, three Nigerians, a Malian and three Ivorians. They have been sent back but the Ghanaians have been retained and are being sent into mandatory quarantine. From our northern borders, totally shut, there have been attempts by Nigerians to enter the country in buses. They have been stopped.”

Mr Affrifah also sounded a note of caution to border communities and transporters to stop smuggling people in and out of the country. He urged them to rather serve as informants to help the government clamp down on illegal entries.

He reiterated that Ghana’s borders have been shut and that anyone who attempts to breach it will be arrested, forced into mandatory quarantine and sent back.


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