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52 Ghanaians deported from US, Saudi Arabia

A total of 52 Ghanaians deported from the United States of America (USA) and Saudi Arabia for various offences, have arrived in the country, the Ghana Immigration Service has said.

Of the figure, 40 of them, aged between 21 and 70 and comprising 38 males and two females, were deported from USA while the remaining 12, all females, aged between 20 and 30, were repatriated from Saudi Arabia.

This was contained in a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by Assistant Superintendent of Immigration (ASI) Barbara Sam, Public Relations Officer of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Immigration Command.

Those deported from the USA arrived last Wednesday, August 14, 2019 while the rest arrived Sunday, August 11, 2019.

The statement said the USA group were deported for offences including trafficking of banned substance, assault, vehicle theft, burglary, fraud, domestic violence and immigration related issues.

On regional distribution, 16 of them are from the Greater Accra, 10 from Ashanti, three each from Eastern and Volta and two each from Bono, Western and Central, according to the statement.

It said they were brought home via a chartered flight, Omini Air International Boeing 777-OAE328 with 38 of them arriving on travel certificate issued by the Ghana Mission in Washington DC, USA, while two had Ghanaian passports.

“They were admitted into the country after going through the needed disembarkation formalities, including screening to authenticate their nationalities,” the statement said.

It said they were received by officials from the Immigration Service and other security agencies including the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), who ensured they were transported to their various destinations.

In the Saudi Arabia case, the statement said the deportees, most of them Junior and Senior High School graduates, were repatriated for illegal stay via Ethiopian Airline Flight ET with Travel Certificate.

It said they were working as domestic helps, including nannies, cleaners and teachers of hosts’ kids; store keepers and fuel attendants, adding that eight of them were from the Northern Region, two from Oti Region and one each from Bono and Central Region.

According to the statement, the women, in an interview said they were made to overwork, had their salaries withheld and were not properly fed and maltreated by their hosts.

“They have since been handed over to the Bureau of National Investigation for further action,” the statement said.

Ghana and the US are in a tussle over plans to deport more than 7,000 Ghanaians accused of being guilty of immigration offences, including abusing the terms of their visas, but Ghana has since last year questioned the nationality of the said deportees.

This year, the US imposed visa restrictions from February 4, 2019, as its embassy in Accra discontinued issuing all non-immigrant visas (NIV) to domestic employees (A3 and G5) of Ghanaian diplomats posted to the US.

In May this year, the Finder reported that the US had deported 642 Ghanaians convicted of various offences, including acts that undermined border control and the integrity of the US immigration system, in three years. It sourced a report on the activities of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in the 2018 fiscal year, which said the Ghanaians were deported between 2016 and 2018.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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