The four Ghana MPs cited for UK visa fraud, as well as all other Members of Parliament would be facing dire consequences for the alleged misconducts…
Four Ghanaian MPs were blacklisted by the British government for visa scams; actions that confront each of them them with at least, a ten-year travel ban from the United Kingdom. The MPs’ misconducts were disclosed to the Speaker of the Parliament in a confidential letter signed by the British High Commissioner in Ghana, Jon Benjamain.
According to the letter, the cited MPs facilitated the entry as well as illegal residence of some of their relatives in the UK, using their Diplomatic Passports. The British High Commission pointed out that the actions are “completely unacceptable” and could be taken to be criminal in nature.
Also See: How To Apply for a UK Visa From Ghana
The British High Commissioner reminded the Speaker of his inaugural pledge to appropriately deal with MPs who are found guilty of abusing their Diplomatic Passports. It was on that note that he dished out details of the MPs’ fraudulent acts and the possible penalties attached.
Details of Ghana MPs’ UK Visa Fraud
The four MPs cited in the UK visa fraud include: Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East, Western Region (NDC); Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North, Brong Ahafo Region (NPP); Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Ashanti Region (NPP), and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region (NPP).
Below are details of their visa misconducts as stated in the letter from the British High Commission.
On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father, but remained until 06/01/2017. In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter’s travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.
On 27/11/2015 the Honourable MP for Bia East Richard ACHEAMPONG applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001490. The Hon ACHEAMPONG stated in his application form that he would travel to the UK for a two week holiday with his “wife” Esther TIWAA. On 10/12/2015 Mr ACHEAMPONG and Ms TIWAA were issued with UK visas. On 24/12/2015 Esther TIWAA travelled to the UK, but alone: the Hon ACHEAMPONG did not accompany her as both his and her visa applications said that he would. She has hot left the UK since that time, and is therefore now there illegally. The Hon ACHEAMPONG did not declare the illegal presence of his wife in the UK until he was challenged with the facts by us on 10/10/2016 He then repeatedly promised me personally that he would bring documentation to prove that Esther TIWAA was, indeed, his wife, but has consistently failed to do so Neither has he been prepared to share any useful information to help us track down Ms TIWAA’s current whereabouts. Should Mr ACHEAMPONG now apply for another UK visa at any point up until 08/12/2025 his previous actions with regard to Esther TIWAA will weigh heavily against his application and he is likely to be refused.
Joseph Benhazin Dahah
On 06/04/2016, the Honourable MP for Ntotroso. Joseph Benhazin DAHAH applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001459 to go on a two week holiday. The Hon DAHAH slated that he was travelling with his wife Gloria DANSU and his niece Beatrice MENSAH On 11/04/2016 the visas of the Hon DAHAH and Gloria DANSU were issued; the visa of his niece Beatrice MENSAH was refused. On 13/05/2016 the Hon DAHAH applied in another country for a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland with his wife and daughter. The identity of his wife had changed from Gloria DANSU in the UK application to Ruyling APPAU in the Irish one. More significantly, a birth certificate was submitted showing that Beatrice MENSAH was now his daughter and not his niece as she had been described when applying to visit the UK. The Hon DAHAH’s UK visa was cancelled and a 10-year UK visa ban has been imposed on him. He has been informed of this.
Johnson Kwaku Adu
On 20/06/2016 the Honourable MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Johnson Kwaku ADU applied for visas for himself, his wife Grace YEBOAH and their 16-year old daughter Emmanuella ADU in order to visit London for a ten day holiday. The Hon ADU applied using Diplomatic Passport number DX002267; all three visas were granted on 07/07/2016. The family of three travelled to the UK on 25/07/2016. The Hon ADU left the UK just two days later on 27/07/2016 leaving behind his wife and child, if that indeed is what they are, who have not left the UK to date and are therefore now illegally resident there. This is in some ways the most serious of the cases outlined in this letter, given the possibility that Hon ADU knowingly facilitated the movement of a minor – who cannot currently be traced – into the United Kingdom. That has been noted with alarm by UK authorities.
The British High Commissioner further alleged that some of the above mentioned Honourable Members used the same unofficial visa agent (also known as a‘Goro boy’) in their applications, specifically a gentleman called Appiah. He also stated that The Commission is continuing investigations to fish out every other Members of Parliament – incumbent or former, who engaged in similar actions.
MPs to henceforth be Granted Visas through Parliamentary Protocol Office
Owing to the ugly development, The British High Commission indicated in the letter that it “will henceforth only entertain and prioritize requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office”. In that case, the protocol office according to the letter, must have verified that “there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit”.
It also noted that “MPs wishing to make private visits to the UK or to be accompanied on official visits by non-official relatives must apply online and through our Visa Application Centre at the Movenpick Hotel like any other applicant”.
The letter, according to Jon Benjaimain were copied to the Parliamentary Protocol Office, the Executive Secretary and Chief-of-Staff to His Excellency. The President; Ministers-designate of Foreign Affairs and National Security, and other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana. This was to ensure that all loopholes through which the cited MPs may escape their penalties are blocked.
The British Hogh Commissioner lamented the fact the the ignoble behaviours of these few MPs has “raised the bar of suspicion” against all other MPs who always act honourably.
MPs to Lose Diplomatic Passports if Found Guilty
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has said that the four Members of Parliament who were indicted in the UK visa fraud will be stripped of their Diplomatic Passports if found guilty of the allegations leveled against them.
Speaking to Citi News’ Franklin Badu Jr, Madam Ayorkor Botchway said the MPs’ passports will be withdrawn by the ministry “if indeed it is found that the persons in question used the passport to do something that shouldn’t have been done”. According to Madam Botchway, she is only waiting for Parliament’s investigations before taking any definite action on the matter.
“I will wait for Mr. Speaker to deal with the matter and I will act on the findings. Just as a Minister has the discretion to issue a Diplomatic Passport, so does the Minister have the discretion to withdraw a passport,” she stated.
Madam Ayorkor Botchway also promised to investigate the matter pending the conclusion of Parliament’s inquiry. She further noted that her ministry will ensure some changes in the processes regarding issuance of visas to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Accused MPs React
Some of the MPs cited in the UK visa fraud allegation has responded to the report by the British High Commissioner. One of them, former MP George Boakye explained that his daughter, 37-year-old Joyce Boakye absconded on their arrival in London. According to him, Joyce told him she is going to visit an uncle but she never returned nor contacted him again until he left the UK.
Miss Joyce Boakye has also confirmed her father’s claims in an interview with Citi FM. According to her, she went to live with her boyfriend and intended to return to Ghana at her boyfriend’s convenience. She said she switched off her phone so that her dad will not know her whereabouts.
Sources also have it that another of the MPs, Richard Acheampong, of Bia East has contacted his lawyers to pursue the case in court, with claims that Jon Benjamain’s allegations are false.
We’ll keep you updated with further developments on the issue.