Three men are in the grip of the police for allegedly stealing passports from their owners and selling them between $500 and $5,000 to prospective travellers.
The suspects — Kofi Owusu, 50; Emmanuel Odai, alias Ogyam, 61, and Kwaku Ameyaw, 51 — were also arrested for allegedly producing fake Ghanaian passports and generating visas of various countries for travellers.
They all claimed to be unemployed, but they are said to belong to a syndicate which operates at Kaneshie, Mataheko and surrounding areas in Accra.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Prosper Kwame Agblor, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that after receiving a number of complaints from victims, personnel of the CID, acting on intelligence, monitored the movements of a suspect, who was later identified as Owusu, and arrested him at Kaneshie in Accra on October 24, 2016.
He said during a search on Owusu, the police found one blank Ghanaian passport which he intended to sell to a prospective traveller for $5,000.
A further search in Owusu’s car, he said, revealed that Owusu was in possession of three Ghanaian passports with the bio-data pages ripped off.
Mr Agblor said one of the passports which contained a UK visa was suspected to have been stolen from the owner.
While investigations were ongoing, he said, another suspect, identified as Odai, was arrested in his shop at Mataheko with four different stamps which he and his accomplices used in their operations.
While the police were still searching Odai’s shop, Ameyaw is said to have showed up with some passports to be stamped by Odai.
Mr Agblor said Ameyaw took to his heels on seeing the police but he was arrested after a hot chase.
Further investigations, according to the police, revealed that Odai embossed all kinds of stamps on passports to portray that the bearer had travelled to some ECOWAS countries.
The police have since retrieved a number of fake passports that had been stamped by the three suspects.
Mr Agblor used the opportunity to advise prospective travellers to contact the Passport Office for their passports and authorised embassies for their visas, instead of relying on ‘connection men’