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I didn’t commit visa fraud – MP

The former Member of Parliament for Asunafo South George Boakye has rejected a case of Visa fraud leveled against him by the UK High Commission.

The former legislator’s dismissal of the charge comes after the UK High Commission in Ghana fingered him and three others in visa fraud.

According to the commission, the lawmakers used their diplomatic passports to apply for visas for persons travelling to the UK and never returned.

They are Richard Acheampong, NDC MP for Bia East in the Western region (NDC), Joseph Benhazin Dahah, NPP MP for Ntotroso in the Bono Ahafo region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, NPP MP for Ahafo Ano South West in the Ashanti region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Bono Ahafo region.

The UK’s High Commissioner Jon Benjamin in a letter dated January 20, 2017 to the Speaker of Parliament Mike Oquaye said: “The British High Commission considers the actions [of the MPs] completely unacceptable. In some cases these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature.”

He added: “We are also circulating this letter widely to other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana in the expectation that some of them will consider similar action to ourselves against the above-named individuals.”

But in his reaction to the development, Mr. Boakye said there was nothing fraudulent about his actions explaining that the visa was legally acquired.

Mr. Boakye on September 11, 2012, according to Mr. Benjamin’s letter applied for visas for himself and his 37-year-old daughter, Joyce Boakye to visit a friend in London for 17 days which were granted September 14, 2012.

The former lawmaker on January 17, 2013 travelled to the UK with his daughter but the latter did not leave the UK with her father remaining until January 6, 2017. In other words she lived in the UK for over three years illegally.

As a result, “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,” Mr. Benjamin’s letter to the speaker read in parts.

Admitting his daughter erred in an interview on the Morning Starr, Mr. Boakye said he accepts in good faith the punitive measures being taken against him by the commission, noting that “when your son or daughter goes out and whatever he or she does and there is a credit to it you’ll take and in same vein when it is the other way you have to take it.”

So there is nothing he can do other than beg for clemency, he added.


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