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Security agencies arrest 500 foreign nationals in Bolga

Security agencies arrest 500 foreign nationals in Bolga

Security agencies arrest 500 foreign nationals in Bolga

The security agencies, led by the Ghana Police Service, last Sunday

rounded up about 500 foreigners in a dawn swoop at various

locations in the Bolgatanga municipality in the Upper East Region.

Preliminary investigations showed that 18 of the foreigners

were Burkinabes, while the rest were Nigerians.

The two-hour swoop was led by personnel from the Upper

East Regional Police Command, with support from the

Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF)

and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).

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The Public Affairs Officer of the Upper East Regional Police Command,

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr David Fianko-Okyere,

who made this known to the Daily Graphic in Bolgatanga last Sunday evening,

said the foreigners were being taken through further levels of screening

to ascertain the veracity of their claims to various nationalities.

Police investigations

ASP Fianko-Okyere further explained that during interrogation,

some of the suspects had said they were working at some places they

claimed as their offices or place of work, while those who were arrested

in homes said those places were their permanent places of residence.

He indicated that the police would conduct further investigations to

find out those who were residing in the country legally and illegally,

saying those found to be illegal residents would be handed over

to the GIS for possible repatriation to their respective countries.

Porous borders

The Public Affairs Officer observed that although Ghana’s borders

remained closed as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions,

investigations showed that some people were likely to be using

unapproved routes to get into the region, and for that matter the country.

He stressed that the approved routes were being manned effectively by

the security agencies and so it was unlikely that people would

use those routes to get into the country.

He advised residents of the region to do background checks on foreigners

who wanted to rent their houses or apartments by liaising with the police.

Advice

ASP Fianko-Okyere advised residents of the region not to harbour

criminals or people with suspicious backgrounds, as those residents

would not be spared if found out.

He stressed that the Regional Police Command had begun an operation

to weed out criminals and curb crime in the region and would

carry out unannounced swoops as part of the operation.

“Let me remind residents that our robust operational strategy is still

in force and so you will continue to see snap checkpoints,

24-hour patrol by uniformed men and plainclothes intelligence-gathering

personnel in the streets and everywhere in the Upper East Region,” he stressed.

Last week, the Regional Police Command began an exercise as part of

efforts to curb the increasing rate of crime in the region,

which was also getting violent.

The crimes include armed robbery at particularly mobile money

vendors and the snatching of motorbikes at gunpoint.

Records at the command show that perpetrators of about 75 per cent

of violent crimes, particularly robbery, used unregistered motorbikes

to commit those crimes.

Security agencies arrest 500 foreign nationals in Bolga
Security agencies arrest 500 foreign nationals in Bolga
In last week’s operation, 107 unregistered motorbikes were impounded,

out of which only nine owners have presented their genuine documents

and their motorbikes subsequently released to them.

GIS caution on jail breakers

Also, the GIS has cautioned Ghanaians living in communities along

the country’s land borders to be vigilant and careful about their

interactions with foreigners, advising them not to help such people

enter the country illegally, as they could be fugitives.

That follows news of a massive jail break in Nigeria where 1,800

people escaped a fortnight ago, a situation that has also seen

the GIS trigger high-alert surveillance at the borders.

In a statement to alert and caution both GIS staff at the regional

borders and border community members, the GIS said there

was the possibility that some 1,800 convicts who escaped from

the Owerri Custodial Centre in Nigeria might seek to

cross into Ghana to avert recapture.

More than 1,800 prisoners are on the run from southeast Nigeria

after they had escaped when heavily armed gunmen attacked

their prison, using explosives and rocket-propelled grenades,

the authorities said.

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