COVID-19 border closure: 6 times foreign nationals have sneaked in illegally

Ghana's air, sea and land borders have been closed since Sunday, March 22, 2020, following an order by President Akufo-Addo as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Foreign nationals

According to President Akufo-Addo, this decision was based on the index cases of coronavirus in the country which came from abroad.


The president has subsequently upheld the decision in later national addresses and recently extended the ban to May 31.

However, this directive has not detered foreign nationals from the sub-region and other parts of Africa to enter into the shores of Ghana.

The Ghana Immigration Service has declared a full operation on this illegal activity across all borders in the country. Despite this action, some foreign with the help of locals have managed to sneak into the country.

We look at six of such instances where these foreigners have been arrested by security officials upon their entry into Ghana.

1 . 44 foreign nationals arrested in Tamale: The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) have arrested 44 foreign nationals, who attempted using unapproved routes from Tatale in the Northern Region to Togo on April 3.

The foreigners are made up of 37 Nigeriens, four Togolese, two, Beninois and one Nigerian. They were fleeing from Tamale and Yendi, where they claimed residents were harassing them for allegedly spreading the Coronavirus disease.

2 . 90 foreign nationals arrested in Kumasi: On April 4, 90 foreign nationals who entered the country illegally were arrested at Kenyasi Abirem in the Ashanti Region.

The group, comprising of 22 females and 68 males were kept in isolation at the Atonsu Agogo Hospital.

3 . 36 foreigners arrested in Volta Region: Officials of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region arrested 38 persons who allegedly entered the country through unapproved routes via Ghana’s Eastern frontier in March.

The 38 persons include; 23 Nigerians, 10 Togolese, one Malian, one Ivorian, one Beninois and two Ghanaians.

They were arrested at the Sogakofe barrier heading towards Accra.

4 . 122 foreigners arrested in Upper West Region: The Upper West Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said it arrested 122 foreign nationals in April 2020 alone for attempting to either enter or leave the country, despite the closure of the borders.

The arrests took place at the Babile inland check point, Dakpla junction and on the Black Volta River, all in the Upper West Region at different occasions through regular inspection of vehicles through the GIS check points.

All the arrested individuals who were Burkinabe nationals were processed and repatriated to their country.

5 . 23 foreign nationals arrested at Nankpanduri: Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service in the North East region, in collaboration with military personnel, have arrested 23 foreigners for entering Ghana illegally.

The operation by the joint security team forms part of ongoing efforts to enforce the border closure directives by government to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The arrested persons were made up of 15 Togolese and eight Burkinabe nationals.

6 . 190 foreigners arrested in Western North Region: Eighteen foreign nationals were arrested and repatriated for entering Ghana from Cote d’Ivoire through an illegal route at Sewum, in the Aowin Municipality of the Western North Region.

The suspects, comprising 17 Burkinabes and an Ivorian, were all males aged between 17 and 55 years, and carried on them identity cards of their respective countries.

This brings the total number of foreign nationals who entered the Western North Region illegally, and were arrested and repatriated, since the closure of the country’s borders, to 190.


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