Ho — Seventeen of the 29 Nigerians arrested last month at Ho-Area 52 for their alleged complicity in cyber fraud activities have been deported by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
This was disclosed to the Ghanaian Times by the Ho Municipal Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Anthony Danso, in Ho on Tuesday.
He said that soon after they were arrested, the Nigerians were handed over to the GIS for screening to determine their immigration status.
During the screening exercise by the GIS, he said, it emerged that the 17 were not of good immigration status.
Subsequently, they were escorted to the Aflao frontier by personnel of the GIS and then extradited, DSP Danso told the Ghanaian Times.
According to him, the others were identified as members of the Nigerian community in Ho and then released.
DSP Danso told the Ghanaian Times that the police were making vigorous efforts to trace the owners of the properties from which the suspects were arrested.
He reminded landlords, who rented their properties to foreigners to ensure that they held valid immigration papers, as a condition for the tenancy agreement.
The Nigerians were arrested by the police in a swoop on their posh houses which were 150 metres apart, on May 18, at Ho-Area 52.
This followed a tip-off from some residents of the area who became highly uncomfortable with the large number of foreigners who had suddenly filled the two houses.
DSP Danso led 11 other armed officers to the area to arrest the suspects in the properties.
The police seized 33 laptop computers, two flat screen television sets, one router and more than 20 cellular phones from the Nigerians during the raid.
Other items seized by the police included three standing fans, more than 10 sim cards and one table-top fridge.
DSP Danso told the Ghanaian Times that all the suspects had initially admitted engaging in cyber fraud activities, but maintained that their targets were foreigners and not Ho residents.
They also told the police that they were recruited by 'some people' to work for them.
DSP Danso said that the youngest suspect was 17 while the oldest was 28, and the ages of the other suspects ranged between 19 and 27.
According to him, one of the suspects, Peter Okhaide, 20, attempted to escape, but he was restrained by residents.
DSP Danso commended the people of Ho-Area 52 for volunteering information to the police, leading to the arrest of the suspects, saying, "We hope this cooperation between the police and the public would continue."
DSP Danso maintained that the police would remain vigilant and look for wayward foreigners and deal with them according to the law.