General News of 2014-02-26

UK deports 25 Ghanaians

About 25 Ghanaians are being deported from the United Kingdom (UK) to Ghana on Wednesday. The 25 people are among 72 West Africans being deported from the UK for various offences.

The deportees are coming in a chartered flight which will be touching down at the Kotoka International Airport today.

This is the first deportation from the UK this year. Last year, the UK de­ported 219 Ghanaians to the country.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) confirmed the news when con­tacted by The Finder, adding that British authorities communicated it to the GIS.

According to The Finder’s sources, the deportees, both males and females, have varied professional backgrounds and fall under the various age groups.

The source said reasons for depor­tation are overstay of visa and involve­ment in criminal activities. Some of the deportees have worked in the UK for over 10 years.

According to the source, the depor­tees are coming with armed escorts who would release them to their fam­ilies.

The GIS told The Finder that on ar­rival, the airline would inform immi­gration that the deportees are on board.

Immigration officers at the fraud office will then be assigned to the flight to receive the escorts and depor­tees.

The GIS explained that the escorts would then present documents on the deportees covering their names, of­fences committed and other relevant information to the GIS fraud office.

The GIS fraud office will in turn take statements from the deportees, which would be added to the documents presented to them by the es­corts, before they will allow the deportees to go home.

The Telegraph of UK on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 reported that more than 3,000 foreign criminals are fighting deportation.

The paper said almost 2,300 of the foreign offenders awaiting deportation were told to leave more than a year ago, with more than 600 others still in the UK five years after being told they must go home.

Overall, 3,133 foreign offenders were in the UK as of September last year, including 64 who could not be deported because the authorities did not even know their identity or nationality.

The figures were released after it emerged earlier this month that Britain was being forced to pay tens of millions of pounds to keep nearly 1,500 foreign criminals behind bars beyond the term of their sentence as they fight deportation.

The cost could reach the equivalent of £55 million a year as more than 500 foreign prisoners are held in jails after their sentences have ended while almost 1,000 are being kept in immigration removal centres, figures showed.

Data from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) revealed that as many as 2,940 Ghanaians were deported to Ghana last year while the number of Ghanaians who were refused entry into the various countries they were traveling to at airports amounted to 676.

The United Kingdom tops the list of European countries while Libya de­ported the highest number of Ghanaians.

The deportees came from several countries such as Germany, Holland, Canada, United States of America (USA), Spain and Saudi Arabia.

According to the data, a total of 237 Ghanaians were voluntarily repatriated from various countries to Ghana last year.

The GIS information also indicates that 179 people who hid aboard ships (stowaways) in order to obtain free passage into other countries were also arrested and deported to Ghana.