Thirteen citizens of Burkina Faso, who illegally entered Ghana, have been deported, the Upper East Regional Police Command has said.
The 13 were part of over 500 foreign nationals arrested for illegally entering the country.
The other 494 people, who are said to be Nigerians, were handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service for processing and deportation, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr David Fianko-Okyere, the Public Relations Officer, Regional Police Command, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
He said the Police Command was implementing a new operation strategy, which included a 24-hour patrol on highways and swoops, especially in the Bolgatanga Township.
He said the operation led to the arrest of 507 foreigners, who were citizens of Burkina Faso and Nigeria, in the Municipality and environs.
ASP Fianko-Okyere said apart from the intelligence gathered by the police service, there was information from the public about the influx of foreign nationals into the communities.
He said the residents attributed the rising crime in the region to alleged illegal activities of the foreigners and the swoop conducted by the police service and other security agencies led to the arrest of 507 people.
He said a preliminary investigation by the Ghana Police Service indicated that those arrested stayed in the country without proper documentation.
He said the Ghana Immigration Service was in the process of processing all the foreigners before deporting them.
ASP Fianko-Okyere noted that due to the geographical location, the 13 people from Burkina Faso were handed over to the appropriate authorities in that country while the rest believed to be Nigerians were transported to the Immigration headquarters in Accra.
The PRO noted that apart from those arrested there were some Nigerians who voluntarily handed themselves over to the police service to be deported back to Nigeria and the Immigration Service was working on such people as well.
He explained that the implementation of the new operational strategy was to ensure that the region was safe, lives and property protected while the presidential COVID-19 directive on border crossing was strictly adhered to.
He said the investigation was ongoing to ascertain the time of entry into the country and people found to have gone against the country’s laws would be dealt with accordingly.
He said the data of all the foreigners arrested were documented by the Immigration Service and that it would be easier to locate anyone in future who committed any offence while in Ghana.
The PRO, however, appealed to residents especially landlords to conduct background checks on foreigners and provide information to the security agencies before renting rooms to them.
“We are saying that it would be appropriate to liaise with Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service so we can at least do background checks on them and have them on record and find out what they are doing,” he said.
He further appealed to people living along the border to cooperate with the security agencies and report any suspected movement of people into the country for investigation and action.