The Western Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in a joint operation with the Ghana Armed Forces on Thursday, September 10 intercepted four commercial vehicles en route to Takoradi.
The vehicles had on board illegal West African nationals who were consequently arrested.
According to GIS, intelligence was gathered about illegal activities along the border, leading to the special joint operation.
“In all, Thirty-Six (36) ECOWAS nationals were intercepted at different sections of the Elubo-Takoradi road and escorted back to Elubo Border for proper screening and investigations.”
The operation was led by Chief Superintendent Joshua Kraku.
Among the arrested West African nationals, three are Ivorians, two are Nigeriens, seven are Liberians, seven are Nigerians and 17 are Beninois.
“Investigations conducted indicate that all the suspects had entered the country through an unidentified illegal route in the Jomoro Municipality, of the Western Region, with the assistance from some miscreants at a fee.
“Intelligence from those communities indicates that in order to outwit Officers deployed to prevent travelers from moving across the Western Border, some of the Canoe Operators and Commercial Drivers arrange to ferry these recalcitrant travelers into the country.
“Upon reaching the Ghana side of the river, the drivers take over the responsibility of clandestinely taking them to their intended destinations across the country.“
The arrested were aged between 10 and 53.
They were screened for coronavirus before being handed over to Ivorian authorities at Noe.
“It is our considered view, as a Command, that such unconscionable behaviour is not only a threat to consolidating the collective gains made in our fight toward defeating the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, but also, an affront to the directive of the President, to keep our land Borders still closed until further notice.
“The severity of the security challenges this poses to our country, has occasioned renewed operational strategies, in terms of heightened surveillance and collaborations, hence the positive results.”