The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has stepped up its hotel inspections during the Easter festivities as a move to help clamp down undocumented non-Ghanaians.
The GIS has therefore reminded all hotels, landlords and living apartment owners that it is going to step up its inspections and enforcement operations during the Easter holidays
“They are reminded of the requirement of Section 52 (1) (b) of the Immigration Act 573 that obliges them to ensure that all lodgers within their facilities are documented non-Ghanaians”, a press statement dated April 1, 2021, signed and issued by the Head of Public Affairs of the GIS, Superintendent Michael Amoako-Atta said.
Section 52(1) (b) states that, a person who knowingly harbors any person whom he knows is to be deported or has reasonable grounds to believe has acted in contravention of this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand Ghana Cedis or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
Landlords and property owners
The statement said the GIS “wishes to serve notice to all landlords and owners of properties that, it will be conducting vigorous checks on their premises, and are therefore being asked, to fully cooperate with officers of the GIS.”
It explained that the stepped-up operation was in line with various strategies lined up by the GIS to ensure that the Easter holiday was free from criminal activities that are likely to mar the peace and safety of the citizenry.
The Service wishes to reiterate its earlier call on landlords to demand proof of residence or legal stay and Immigration registration from would be non-Ghanaian tenants before entering into any tenancy agreement with them, it added.
“Landlords and owners of properties are further cautioned that, the obstruction or prevention of an officer of the GIS from carrying out his lawful duty is an offence under the Immigration Act.
“They are therefore required to fully cooperate with officers of the Service when they visit their premises.”
The GIS wishes to advise hoteliers and owners of residential apartments to keep appropriate data on all guests within their premises and make same available to officers of the Service who will be visiting their premises.
Failure to provide such information is a breach of the Immigration laws and upon conviction two years imprisonment may be imposed.
Transporting illegal migrants
The statement added that in line with this, transporters across the country especially those within the border communities are hereby warned to desist from conveying irregular migrants who enter the country through unapproved routes to various locations within the country.
It is an offence under the Immigration laws of the country and the Service will not spare any transporter who is caught in the act. Bus terminals and public transport stations will be closely monitored during this period.
The Service would like to call on the general public to cooperate with Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service by providing timely information on all suspicious movement of persons within their communities who are not known residents of the community to the nearest Immigration Office or Police station.
In line with its vision of delivering excellence in security and migration management for national development, the Service will not relent on its mandate to ensure that the territorial integrity of the country is protected and also support in ensuring conducive internal security for the people of Ghana.