Of recent times, there are many reported allegations of malpractices in perpetration and perpetuation at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra, Ghana. If the allegations are not about luggage tampering by staff with intent to steal from travellers, they are about the designated Covid-19 taskforce charged with overseeing the detection, prevention and spread of imported Covid-19 viruses into the country, resorting to dubious means to cheat those arriving in, or departing from, the country. If it is not about the immigration or customers officers trying to extort money from travellers through crafty means of intentionally delaying the traveller by resorting to many seemingly illegal tactical ways, it is about a worker at the airport expecting payment from the traveller for any little assistance they render, e.g. showing one directions at the airport.
Almost every worker at the airport will want to return home with plenty money or gifts after the end of their day’s work or shift but all through extortion of some sort. The airport has become a cash cow for the workers right from the top to the bottom, to be milked every day, it seems.
It is now on social media once more, how some immigration officers are allegedly scanning some people’s passports, especially those with permanent residence abroad or foreign nationalities, precisely in the Western advanced countries like say, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Canada or America.
The video alleges that once many such passports are collected by an immigration officer and their accomplices after checking them in the arrival immigration booths, the passports are then taken away into some office for a while before returning them to their respective owners. Why are the passports taken away from the sight of their owners without informing them of the reason? This was never the case and should not be. If the passports are suspected of any illegalities, they could be established using the machines in the booths, I should think.
Some travellers are alleging that when the passports are taken away, they are scanned by the immigration officers to later use the photocopies to facilitate the sponsorship of other willing Ghanaians to travel abroad at exorbitant fee.
Much as I will not buy into the allegation without further investigations, I will neither refute it as in Ghana, every criminal enterprise is able to be effected, especially with the supposedly more “intelligent” Nigerians abounding in the country.
Criminals are capable of anything. They are very smart in executing their criminal intentions.
Once upon a time in London, my Nigerian work colleague narrated to me how a Nigerian he knew very well obtained a huge loan from a bank in Belfast using a flat he rents in Kingsmead Estate, Hackney in East London, as his own and through remortgaging. He was able to correspond with the bank both on the phone and emails, creating fictitious documents to proof that he has bought the flat and therefore, is the owner. It’s a long story but in the end, he was able to convince the bank to get the loan he wanted.
Why did many banks refuse to open bank accounts for Nigerians in the late 1990s and 2020s? Why are they still making it tough for them and other immigrants to open bank accounts let alone, easily granting them loans unlike before?
The above little reference tells how Africans can be criminals to dismantling what the white men in their wisdom have built for the comfort of humanity and the prosperity of their counties.
One may say it will be difficult for such scanned passports to be put to use as alleged without failing. Will the embassies not ask for further and better particulars like proofs of address, employment, income, bank statements, etc.? By requesting all the mentioned proofs, the criminal will be caught out, one may think or say. Nevertheless, this may not always be the case.
If one understands how these criminals are sophisticated in their ways in this technological era, they won’t doubt what they can capably do. It is to enforce my view on the possibility of the allegation at the airport happening that is why I have recounted the story of the Nigerian as shown above.
I shall suggest that the foreign embassies in Ghana do investigate this allegation to put in place further stringent checks to avoid the situations of other people using the details of others to get visa sponsorships without the knowledge of the actual owners of such passports or documents.
Corruption by the Ghanaian civil servants is becoming too ramified and sophisticated. However, corruption is the bane of every economy. Therefore, laws must work in Ghana to stop all the perpetrations of official and unofficial corruption going on in the country with impunity.
Let all genuine hands join hands to fight corruption. Resist all those demanding money from you by corrupt ways.
Ghana Freedom Fighters, please help to take on those engaging in corruption at the Kotoka International Airport.