Some Ghanaians are being deported back to Ghana after they were flagged to be ‘non-genuine travellers’ posing as journalists for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia which kick off on Wednesday.
The exact number is unknown but is believed to be over 50 being held at various airports in Australia and are being processed for deportation.
Others are also stranded in various transit points including Singapore, afraid to connect to Australia given the high likelihood they could be returned immediately, Citi Sports gathers.
According to Australian authorities, although all the affected persons had the right accreditation to enter Australia, they were not convinced they were real journalists as many failed to produce evidence to back their claim.
Many were said to lack basic journalistic tools like smartphones, recorders or cameras and had no idea about the sporting disciplines they were going to cover.
Meanwhile, Deputy Sports Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, has denied any involvement in the matter after an earlier claim by Angel Broadcasting Network (ABN) that the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as the Ghana Olympic Committee and the National Sports Authority, had engaged in visa racketeering.
“I don’t give Australian visas so the story that says I have been engaged in a visa fraud is wrong.
“Somebody just wants to destroy my very self and the sector minister Isaac Asiamah but we are not perturbed,” Hadzide told Asempa FM.
Hadzide also said government did not facilitate the travel of the affected people and will investigate how non-journalists acquired press accreditations for the games.