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Passport office fraud: Minister sacks goro boys, officials

The anger of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey was in full display at the passport office over some underhand dealings.

It has been a recurring practice of some middlemen known widely as ‘Goro Boys’ operating in concert with officials of the passport office who take unapproved charges from applicants before offering them services.

Following series of complaints from prospective applicants about how they were being fleeced, an angry Minister descended on staff and officials of the passport office for engaging in what she describes as “corruption-related activities” that she said have tarnished the office reputation in the eyes of the general public.

During a tour to the passport office, the Minister expressed worry over illegal activities happening at the facility indicating that, the staff at the office work with a cartel of “goro boys and girls” to manipulate the system.

She said politicians are often called corrupt gangs but such practice is mostly orchestrated by some civil servants, adding that, the online system put in place by government to ensure smooth operation has been manipulated.

“I told my officers to put up an online system. Now, the online system is being manipulated so that people can make money off it. There are investigations going on, and some names have been mentioned. There’s a cartel of people who are working with people from inside.”

The Minister added: “We want to bring some sanity. Every time, we say, Politicians are corrupt, meanwhile, it is some public and civil servants who will do things that shouldn’t be done, and then they will be blaming it on politicians. We are trying to bring sanity into the system.”


The Minister further directed that all serving security personnel stationed at the Passport Office in Accra should coming to work beginning Monday, August 21, 2023.

“Anybody who has been here for more than one year, from Monday on, please do not come back because you have been changed”, she ordered.

Ablakwa’s comment

Meanwhile the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has served notice that, the administration of the various passport offices, including its directors, must respond to inquiries regarding claims of bribery, extortion, and corruption within the organization.

He was reacting to the development in an interview with Joy News.

“There is a Director at the Passport Office, a whole Director, so it didn’t have to take the Minister to descend from her Ministry and to engage in that open outburst for the Minister to be dismissing people on site and all of that. It tells you that there is something fundamentally wrong and the leadership at the Passport Office fall short of the leadership requirement you will expect to see for such a sensitive position. The Director of the Passport Office and all those in management must be answering questions”.

He added, “If care is not taken, innocent people could be caught in the frame so I will still urge that it will be necessary for a disciplinary committee to still carry out some independent investigation into the role of those the Minister met. Are we sure that all of them are involved in all of these underhand dealings, briberies, corruption and all the untoward conduct that the Minister is angry about?”.

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