Enhanced border patrols by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in the Jomoro District in the Western Region have led to the arrest of 36 people from ECOWAS countries who used unapproved routes to exit or enter Ghana.
Those arrested are from Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Guinea and Ghana.
The suspects, including a nursing mother, are alleged to have attempted to use the illegal entry point at Nzemtenu, near Appollenu, to cross into Cote d’Ivoire.
The closure of the country’s borders in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to a surge in the use of unapproved routes to and from Cote d’Ivoire.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic Thursday, the Western Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GIS, Assistant Inspector Mr Moses M. Akakpo, said in the early hours of last Wednesday, 11 Ivorians were intercepted at a location called Berlin, after using an unapproved route near the New Town Border Post into the country.
They were later handed over to the Ivorian security for repatriation.
He said the others were arrested at Appollenu, also in the region.
According to him, the GIS was currently undertaking 24-hour patrol of the borders to ensure that no one broke the entry restrictions.
“We have our intelligence on the ground, and I must say that acting on timely information from Half-Assini, we swiftly followed up, leading to the arrests.
“It is important to note that our stakeholder co-operation, which is the support from the community, is exposing those travellers who have refused to observe the directive by the government,” Mr Akakpo said.
The PRO said it was important for all to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by respecting the protocols put in place, which include physical distancing, restrictions on movement across borders and social gatherings.
He said much as Ghanaians and people within the West African sub-region wanted to move around, “we have the pandemic to fight and that requires our collective effort”.
Mr Akakpo expressed appreciation to all stakeholders, including communities along the borders, for their support.