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20 Nigeriens arrested in Ghana amid coronavirus fears

Ghana is finalizing processes to repatriate 20 Nigeriens who were arrested by the country’s immigration officers at Juaso in the Asante Akim South District of the Ashanti Region.

They include eight females, 11 males and a toddler.

The foreign nationals have been screened by health officials in the Ashanti Region as concerns over the deadly Coronavirus pandemic grow in the Juaso community.

A spokesperson at the Public Relations Unit of the Ashanti Regional Immigration Command, Bernice Amponsah said: “They [the foreigners] were referred to us from the Ashanti Akyem South Municipality through the Ashanti Akyem police and to the Konongo immigration. Ongoing investigations revealed that they came from Sunyani to sell their local herbal medicines. Residents, however, raised alarm following fears of the recent outbreak and the spread of the corona virus.”

It is gathered that four out of the 20 foreigners were able to produce their travel certificates which did not even permit them to work or stay in Ghana, while the remaining 16 had only Nigerian identity cards.

The Immigration Command also added that they were being detained because their activity was in contradiction to the law which demands that the sale of Medicine must be permitted by the Food and Drugs Authority.

“As I speak to you, there are directives to process them for repatriation. Upon screening, the four of them who had the travel certificates are still kept here because they are all being processed for repatriation. The certificate they had on them does not permit them to sell or to work in Ghana and those who had the identity cards, by law it does not give them entry because it is not a travel document,” officers told Accra-based Citi FM.

Finally, appreciation was extended to the residents of Juaso for reporting the foreigners to the right authorities, they also encouraged the general public to report any foreign national whom they may suspect of foul play to the Ghana Immigration Service.

“We are using this opportunity to thank the residents of Juaso for reporting these nationals to the right authorities and we also use this opportunity to appeal to citizens that if they see any foreigners and suspect any foul play or suspicions, they should report immediately to the Ghana Immigration Service.”

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