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Deportation Of 50 Fake Journalists Confirmed

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The Australian High Commission to Ghana has confirmed that the Australian Border Force (ABF) has withdrawn visas belonging to Ghanaians who attempted to travel to Australia illegitimately posing as journalist, athletes or officials.

At least 50 Ghanaians posing as journalists to cover the ongoing Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia were handpicked by ABF after they failed to provide concrete evidence of their said profession, although they had the right accreditation to enter Australia.

A release issued by the Commission said Ghanaians amongst other nationals were found to have faked documents as “media contingent” and travelled to Australia to attend the Commonwealth Games.

“While this situation is regrettable, anyone wishing to enter Australia, including athletes, team officials and the media, must hold a valid visa and accreditation and must be deemed to be a legitimate visitor,” the statement read.

The ABF says its working hard to ensure smooth entry for legitimate Commonwealth Games visitors and for a safe and secure Games.

The Australian High Commission however noted that it would continue to liaise with relevant authorities from the Government of Ghana on this matter.

GJA Disowns Fake Media Persons

Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) has specified that it knows nothing about the 50 alleged fake journalists.

In a statement signed by the GJA president, Mr Affail Monney, “The GJA wishes to put on record that it does not know the identities of the so-called journalists; neither is it aware of their mission in Australia.”

It continued: “Although Ghanaian journalists travelling outside the country for official events are not obliged to inform the GJA about their assignments, it is quite strange that the GJA is not aware of the identities of the deportees, including the media institutions they claim to represent.”

The GJA noted that this development could be detrimental to Ghanaian journalists in particular and Ghana as a whole.

He therefore called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the police and other relevant institutions to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to establish the true identities of the deportees for the purposes of redeeming the image of Ghana and Ghanaian journalists.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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