The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has refuted claims by Former President John Mahama, on deportation affecting 5,000 Chinese nationals during his tenure as President.
Confirming assertions by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, GIS revealed that contrary to report about having undertaken deportations, the outfit undertook repatriations.
The GIS said the repatriations affected some 966 Chinese nationals involved in galamsey between 2012 and 2016.
Head of Public Relations at the Service, Supt Michael Amoako-Atta told Accra-based Asaase Radio that, “when it comes to the removal of citizens from Ghana, especially in relations to illegal mining, we do not have deportation on our records.
“We have repatriation of nationals involved in illegal mining and they are removed from the country [but] for deportation there is nothing like that. [And] between 2012 and 2016 we had 966 Chinese nationals who were repatriated from Ghana.” Amoako-Atta added.
This statement comes on the back of a recent claim by the former president Joh Mahama to the effect that his administration deported about 5,000 Chinese nationals engaged in galamsey.
“when I was in office, I faced this same illegal gold mining [issues]. I deported almost 5,000 illegal Chinese miners. I didn’t say because of the good relations we have with China; we should allow them to engage in this illicit activity. We collaborated with the Chinese embassy, and it didn’t destroy our relationship.”
The PRO revealed that some 4000 Chinese nationals voluntarily returned to their home country after they requested to return to return to China.
He said, these people were not repatriated since they returned to China by themselves.
“So they [these Chinese] were not repatriated but [decided to go back] on their own because of the operations we were undertaking in mining areas. So this is different from the 966 repatriations.”
The Minister of Information in an interview with Joy FM debunked the president’s assertions that he deported 5,000 Chinese nationals which according to the Minister, the former president may have confused repatriation with deportation.