Australia Commission confirms cancellation of fake visas

REPORTThe Australian High Commission has confirmed that the Australian Border Force (ABF) has cancelled the visas of several dozen travelers from a variety of countries, including Ghana, who attempted to travel to Australia posing illegitimately as journalists, athletes or officials.
“While this situation is regrettable, anyone wishing to enter Australia, including athletes, team officials and the media, must hold a valid visa and accreditation and must be deemed to be a legitimate visitor,” a statement from the Commission said.
According to the Commission, the ABF is working hard to ensure smooth entry for legitimate Commonwealth Games visitors and for safe and secure Games.
The Commission will continue to liaise with relevant authorities from the Government of Ghana on this matter.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Sports Minister, Mr. Pius Hadzide, has revealed that the Ghanaians facing deportation from Australia for being ‘non-genuine travelers’ received final endorsement from the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) before making the trip to Australia.
At least 50 Ghanaians posing as journalists to cover the ongoing Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia were flagged by Australian officials after they failed to provide concrete evidence of their said profession, although all the affected persons had the right accreditation to enter Australia.
The Sports Ministry and the GOC have subsequently denied involvement in the matter, with Hadzide refuting claims that the Ministry sponsored the travels of the said journalists.
However, in an interesting twist, Hadzide, who is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Committee for Ghana, on Thursday, disclosed on the Citi Breakfast Show, that the Competition Officials in Australia confirmed that the flagged Ghanaians had received validation from the GOC.
“I have spoken to the GOC, that is the Chef de Mission, on this matter, and their position is that they did not facilitate any such thing.
“However my checks from the Games organizers in Australia indicate that when they receive these nominations, they seek clarification and validation from the GOC before they are allowed to travel.
“So as to whether someone was complicit or someone just didn’t do a good job we are still investigating,” he said.
The first batch of the deported Ghanaians arrived in Ghana on Wednesday night, with the rest expected to follow in the coming days.

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