Visa Fraud We're still compiling list of former MPs with diplomatic passports - Minister to UK Gov't

This follows the revelation that some members of parliament have been abusing their diplomatic passports and engaged in visa fraud.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to compile a list of former members of parliament who are still in possession of their diplomatic passports.

This follows the revelation that some members of parliament have been abusing their diplomatic passports and engaged in visa fraud.

A confidential letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, by the British High Commission said three sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and a former MP have used an unauthorised person (a goro boy) and their diplomatic passports to apply for visas for some individuals who travelled to the United Kingdom and did not return as stipulated by their visas.

 

They are Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ntotroso in the Brong Ahafo Region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region.

READ ALSO: Four Ghanaian MPs cited in alleged UK visa fraud

In the said letter, the British High Commission said it “considers the actions [of the MPs] completely unacceptable. In some cases these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature.”

It further asked from Ghana’s Speaker of parliament “what procedures are in place to ensure that diplomatic passports are removed forthwith from all those 133 former Members who have just ceased to be MPs.”

In an interview on Accra-based Joy FM, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said her outfit is still compiling the number of diplomatic passports the Ghanaian government has issued as of now.

She said that she will only be able to indicate the number of diplomatic passports out there after the compilation is completed.

“We are still compiling because some passports have been returned, indeed many passports have been returned, passports that were held by members of former government, many of them have been returned, but at least not all of them have, we are in the process of compiling as well as former Members of Parliament. A good number of them have returned their passports, although not all," she said. 

"So we are in the process of compiling, once I finish the compilation then I will know how many passports we have out there. Those who are no longer in employment of government or parliament, we put out an advert some time back to ask everybody who is no longer in employment of government to send their passports back, which by and large they have complied, although I must say that some have delayed."

"We will have to take some first (steps), whether to send a list to our entry points so that Immigration will have it on their system so that anybody who tries to travel with a diplomatic passport who is not entitled to it would be stopped at the exit," she said.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Speaker of parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye has vowed to take action against the three sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and the former MP cited for the alleged visa fraud.

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