THIRTY Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) officers based at the Kotoka International Airport are undergoing training on detection of fake travel documents as part of efforts to tackle irregular migration and related crime.
The five-day workshop is to pilot and fine-tune new training manuals and updated ones developed for use at the Document Fraud Expertise Centre (DFEC) of the GIS in Accra, where the training is ongoing.
The centre handles examination, analysis and verification of documents including passports, marriage, birth and death certificates, visas, residence and work documents for various agencies in addition to training.
The development of the manuals and the training are under a project dubbed, ‘Strengthening border and migration management in Ghana (SMMIG)’, funded by the Danish government and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Opening the training yesterday, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Kwame Assuah Takyi, said the constant training of officers had become important because of the increasing migration and cross-border crimes worldwide, including human and drugs trafficking and terrorism.
He said so long as the sponsors of the crimes were going all out to stay in business under the cover of fake documents , it was crucial that GIS enhanced the capacities of officers to enable them to bring the criminals to book.
“There has been a lot of focus on document fraud detection all over the world. The GIS has taken a hard stand to fight this disease of migration management (document fraud). One of the ways GIS is going to win this war is by having constant quality training for officers,” Mr Takyi said.
He thanked the German government for aiding the service to set up the centre and the Danish government for the training, which he said had helped to improve migration management.
Mrs Amala Obiokoye-Nwalor, the project manager, ICMPD, said the SMMIG project was to support Ghana to strengthen institutional and operational capacities to manage irregular migration flows.
She added that the ICMPD, through its three-way approach involving dialoguing, research and capacity building, was keen in supporting countries including Ghana, to roll back irregular migration and its allied crime.
Mrs Obiokoye -Nwalor expressed the hope that at the end of the training, participants would be in the position to detect forged documents at all levels, apart from the validation of the new training manuals.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR