Covid-19: Ghana detains US citizen for illegal entry

GIS boss Afrifa at the press conference

A US citizen who had crossed over from Togo to neighbouring Ghana has been arrested, officials said on Tuesday.

He was picked up by Ghanaian immigration personnel after he reportedly landed at the Lome airport on March 20.

This follows the closure of Ghana’s borders to curb the spread of the novel Covid-19 in the country – which has so far killed two people and infected 50 others.

A deputy Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Afrifa, told reporters that the American national has since been detained and is on a mandatory quarantine.

“Further action to take on him will be announced in consultation with the legal authorities”, Mr Afrifa added.

Other foreigners arrested

The Deputy Comptroller-General said security agencies also made a significant number of arrests across its border towns in the country.

The Service cited Ghana’s eastern borders as having seen “various attempts to enter the country illegally”.

Among those intercepted, there were seven Nigerians; four men and three women “who were sent back across the border to Togo” on March 22.

At least 21 persons were also picked up in the Western Region border town of Elubo for similar offences on March 23.

They include two Ghanaians, three Nigerians, eight Beninese, two Ivorians, one Malian and five children, who were in the midst of some community members serving as their aids at the bush

The Elubo border post is considered Ghana’s major border with neighbouring Ivory Coast. It is located in the Jomoro District of the Western Region. gathers that officials were finalizing processes to repatriate the foreigners while the Ghanaians had been detained in their home country.

Ghanaian medical doctor arrested

At the Sogakope inland border, a Ghanaian doctor who flew in through Lome from the US “and entered illegally” was also intercepted.

“Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to Lome so we are watching that border post very closely because that is where we are seeing the tendency of persons mobbing through,” the Deputy Immigration Service Boss said.

Two Ivorians who hired vehicles from Aflao border and were moving to Accra were also arrested.

“Drivers of vehicles have also arrested and they are all being sent to mandatory quarantine and thereafter, the issue of prosecution will be considered”, officials said.

While officials have stepped up security at the 14 approved routes, Ghanaians along these towns have been urged to provide police with information to aid their work.

At the time of filing this report, however, a number of Togolese nationals were also arrested at the Tatale border in Northern Ghana after they attempted to cross into Ghana at unapproved routes.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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