The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has busted a gang believed to be behind the issuance of fake Emergency Entry Visa (EEV) at the Kotoka International Airport.
Although the kin-pin of the gang, Richard Cudjoe, is on the run, the arrest of three others and the seizure of computers from their office at Kokomlemle in Accra, has curtailed passengers arriving with fake EEV.
The three suspects, Alhaji Ali Telli, Alhaji Boye Bussan and Christopher Amanchuku, a Nigerian, are, however, on bail.
The gang is also purported to have signed Ghanaian work and resident permits to some unsuspecting victims for which they might have paid huge sums of dollars.
The Director of the GIS, Ms Elizabeth Adjei, who briefed the Daily Graphic at the weekend, said the service had detected a proliferation of fake EEV presented by foreigners on their arrival at the airport.
She said most of the foreigners issued with such fake EEV were often from Asia. Consequently, she stated that the service mounted investigations both within the airport and outside it to find out the source of the fake EEV.
Ms Adjei said on September 14, 2006, Alhaji Telli turned up at the airport to meet a Pakistani, who was found with one such EEV.
She said Alhaji Telli was subsequently arrested for interrogation, during which he alleged that he worked for Richard Cudjoe.
According to her, the suspect led a team of investigators to their offices at Kokomlemle, where two computers and two Nigerian passports were retrieved.
Ms Adjei added that a run through the materials stored in both computers revealed evidence of fraudulent dealings.
She cited, for instance, retrieval of correspondence of sale of gold, draft contracts and scanned GIS EEV with the signatures of the top hierarchy of the service, including that of a retired officer.
She said the bio-data page of a South African passport was also retrieved. Ms Adjei said while the service detained Alhaji Telli for further investigations, Alhaji Bussan and Christopher turned up to secure bail for Telli, but were also arrested on suspicion that they were accomplices.
According to her, further investigations revealed that the suspects had defrauded an American of more than $200,000 on the pretext of selling gold to him.
Ms Adjei said the GIS, accordingly, referred that aspect of the investigations to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for forensic investigations.
She said the gang was believed to be behind the facilitation of entry of trafficked persons from the Philippines, China, Bangladesh and other Asian countries into Ghana for onward travel to Europe and America.
The director said although some of the trafficked persons were arrested at the airport, the service wondered how they got the travel documents to board the flights.
Ms Adjei said the problem could be due to the absence of Ghanaian Missions in most countries in Asia.
She stated that there had been instances where some persons had contacted the Ghana Mission in Saudi Arabia to check the authenticity of such permits, only for them to be told they were fake.