The Ghana Immigration Service has called on the support of residents at border communities to report foreigners who use unapproved routes into the county
The call follows Tuesday’s arrest of 170 Togolese for illegally entering Ghana through Saboba in the Northern Region.
The Togolese nationals have since been returned to their country.
Speaking to Citi News, the Head of Public Relation of the Ghana Immigration Service, Michael Amoako Atta said the service have put a lot of measures in place to block all illegal routes and anyone who is caught illegally entering the country especially in the time where there are directives by the president to keep land borders close will be repatriated.
“We are in difficult times, we are not in normal times. And we are all very much aware of the spread of the COVID-19 virus so once the President has given directives for all borders to be under lock and key, anyone who attempts to enter or even succeeds to enter through any unapproved route, we will have to send you back immediately. You see unapproved routes, there are known unapproved routes where we have stationed our men and there are unapproved routes that are triggered daily as our offices identify these routes.”
He added that “once you place offices at these unapproved routes then it serves as a deterrent so what they do is, they find the next available place where they can easily enter.”
Mr. Amoako Atta stated that turning a blind eye to foreigners illegally entering the country will only increase Ghana’s chance of experiencing a wider spread of the Coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 is still real and any attempt to assist foreigners to enter into the country will only be increasing the possibility of the spread of this virus.”
“And getting to the end of the year, we have elections and Christmas festivities coming up and people may try to enter and traders may try to smuggle goods in, so we want to implore all the border residents to assist us in ensuring that our borders are safe,” he added.
When were Ghana’s borders closed?
Ghana’s air, sea, and land borders were closed on Sunday, March 22, 2020, following an order by President Akufo-Addo as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
At the time, the country had only recorded 21 cases of the novel disease.
The initial closure was to last for two weeks according to President Nana Akufo-Addo but was extended.
Although air borders were opened on September 1, 2020, land and sea borders remain closed.