At least 507 illegal immigrants have been arrested in a swoopin theBolgatangaMunicipality of the Upper East, on Sunday, by a combined team of the Police, Ghana Immigration Service and National Security.
The suspects, who are between the ages of 19 and 35 years, comprises of 494 Nigerians, including six females, and 13 Burkinabes, were reported to have entered the country through unapproved routes.
The exercise, which was conducted in areas,including Zaare,Sokabisi and Yekeni, was to check the influx ofillegal immigrants and criminal activities in the municipality.
The Director of the Police Public Affairs, Superintendent of Police (Supt) Sheila KessieAbayie-Buckman,who disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times, in Accra,yesterday, stating that the illegal immigrants entered the country whiles the borders were closed as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Supt Abayie-Buckman said the swoop was conducted as a result of concerns raised by residents in the municipality about the influx of foreigners,who engagedin criminal activities.
She also said there had been series of robberies in the municipality recently hence the need to embark on such operation to clampdown on criminal activities.
Supt Abayie-Buckman said last Sunday, at about 5:00am, the Upper East Regional Police Command in partnership with the other security agencies embarked on the exercise and arrested the suspects who did not have resident permits.
She stated the suspects have since been conveyed in buses to Immigration Headquarters, in Accra, and Paga border Immigration, for screening and repatriation to their respective countries.
Supt Abayie-Buckman advised landlords or house owners to beware of prospective tenants, especially foreigners,who are expected to have resident permits.
She also warned property owners that they could be arrested for harbouring foreigners without resident permits.
Supt Abayie-Buckman stated that the exercise would be sustainedand urged the public to provide reliable information to the police to be able to clampdown on criminal activities.
She assured that the police would continue to maintain law and order and protect lives and properties.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI
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