The Tema Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has arrested two persons for allegedly defrauding scores of unsuspecting youth on the pretext of securing them jobs within the service.
Awuah Forson, 46, and Ekow Harkman, 71, were arrested in Tema last Sunday by a team of officers from the Operations Unit in Tema and officers from the Immigration Academy and Training School, Assin Fosu, after they had tracked and trailed the suspects from Assin Fosu to Tema.
Forson and his accomplice were alleged to have collected up to GH¢250,000 from 30 young persons on the pretext of facilitating their recruitment into the GIS.
The suspects are being held by the Ghana Immigration Service for further investigation and prosecution.
The Tema Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GIS, Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI) Mercy Budu, told the Daily Graphic that one of the victims (name withheld), who had paid about GH¢10,000 to the suspects, went to the Immigration Training Academy at Assin Fosu to enquire whether Forson was, indeed, an immigration officer as he had claimed.
She said the victim found out that the suspect was not an employee of the service, and that she had actually been scammed.
She said the attention of the PRO of the Immigration Academy and Training School, Assistant Superintendent of Immigration (ASI) Roland Abdul Aziz Issah, was subsequently drawn to the plight of the victim, and he passed on the information to the Tema Regional Command where the suspect allegedly operated from.
DSI Budu said based on the collaboration, officers from Assin Fosu and the Tema Regional Command succeeded in luring the suspect and his accomplice to a hotel at Community 8 in Tema where they were arrested after some of the GIS officers had posed as persons who wanted assistance to enter the service.
She said some medical report forms and other documents were retrieved from the suspects
The Head of Operations at the Tema Regional Command, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration (ACI) James Hayford Boadi, cautioned members of the public, particularly the youth, desperate for employment, to be wary of scammers.
He said the GIS did not sublet its recruitment exercises to individuals or group of persons, emphasising that every recruitment exercise was done by the GIS alone under the Ministry of the Interior. He, therefore, encouraged the public to report such individuals to the service or to the police for the necessary action.
Last year, the GIS arrested one person, Mr Kojo Sakyi, a 53-year-old man, for engaging in a recruitment scam in the Western Region.
The suspect, who was subsequently referred to the national headquarters of the GIS for further investigations, reportedly lured one of the victims to a location with the intention of collecting GH₵5,000 from him, after the victim had forwarded his certificates and other relevant documents to him via WhatsApp.
The Immigration Service has had to frequently caution the unsuspecting public over scammers who try to pose as staff of the service.
These criminal elements, the GIS said, resorted to the creation of fake social media accounts using details of some prominent officers of the service to deceive the unsuspecting public.