Thirteen Burkinabes, who entered Ghana through unapproved routes at Hamile in the Upper West Region were arrested and repatriated by personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times here on Wednesday, the Regional Public Relations Officer for the GIS, Immigration Control Officer (ICO) Ibn Yussif Duranah Abdul-Mumin Seidu, hinted that the personnel initially arrested four males aged between 22 and 39 on Tuesday on board a Hyundai Grace H300 bus with registration number AS-3289-11 enroute to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
He said that the other nine migrants, who were aged between 18 and 36, were arrested around Batoma and Beat Four unapproved routes under the Hamile sector command by the GIS personnel during their usual patrols on Wednesday.
ICO Seidu said the migrants who were travelling on motorcycles told the personnel that they were heading to Techiman and Kumasi in the Bono and Ashanti regions respectively for economic reasons.
“The migrants have since been handed over to authorities in Burkina Faso after a thorough health screening was conducted at the Hamile border,” he stated.
ICO Seidu issued a stern warning to residents living along the border to avoid smuggling foreigners into the region, saying the service would deal with such persons if they were caught.
“We are sending a stern warning to the general public, particularly, the border residents that in line with our operational functions, to ensure that prohibited, undocumented and irregular migrants are not allowed entry into Ghana, we are going all out to secure our territorial borders,” he stated.
He added that the service would step up patrols and monitoring of the country’s borders to ensure that the President’s directive on the closure of the borders was strictly enforced.
Ghana closed its sea, land and air borders on March 22, 2020 as part of efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA