Hansol Mining expatriates operates illegally – GIS

Ghana Immigration Service n

Ghana Immigration Service n

Accra, April 5, GNA – The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) on Friday said its investigations into the operations of Hansol Mining Limited revealed that its expatriates operated without residence permit.

‘GIS is aware Hansol is registered by the Minerals Commission to provide support service but has not applied to the Commission for it to benefit from its incentives package including the recruitment of appropriate number of expatriates,’ a statement by Mr Francis Palmdeti, Head of GIS Public Affairs, to the Ghana News Agency.

It said Hansol needed to apply to the Commission who after vetting would write a letter of recommendation to the GIS and it is on that basis that the GIS would recommend for the issuance of work permits and subsequently grant them residence permits.  

‘Hansol has not done any of these as at April 4,’ the statement said in reaction to recent arrest of some Chinese who were engaged in illegal gold mining in some parts of the country.

The GIS said in October 2012, HANSOL applied to the Ministry of the Interior for an Immigration quota for 30 expatriate workers but the Ministry only granted 10 quotas.

Since the granting of the quota, Hansol neither failed to provide the names of persons to fill the relevant quotas nor filled the necessary vetting forms in accordance with the law, meaning the company had not met the pre-conditions.

It said records showed that any form of work residence permit issued to HANSOL were granted in 2008 at that time of Dr P.A. Wiredu had not assumed office as the Acting Director of Immigration.

‘It must be noted that at no time had Dr. Wiredu granted or endorsed any work or residence permit to HANSOL Mining Ltd. We are therefore challenging Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, the Managing Director of HANSOL, to provide original copies of Work Permit or Immigrant Quotas issued to him (HANSOL),’ the statement said.

‘We also are aware that, Mr. Antwi-Baosiako is in association with two other companies: AKOSOWOMO Co. LTD and MY LOVE CO. LTD whose workers were also arrested by GIS but have been granted bail.

The statement said following the security operations carried out by the GIS in the Western and Central Regions, a total of 60 Chinese nationals were arrested.  

The Military, on the other hand arrested 78 Chinese and out of that number, only 98 passports were retrieved, 43 of the passports had residence permits endorsed in them purported to have been issued by the GIS.

However, investigations have established that some of these residence permits were either fraudulently acquired without requisite quota or work permit or fake.

The statement said GIS as a statutory body responsible for immigration in the country would uphold the tenets of the immigration profession.

The GIS therefore called on the general public to assist the Service to ensure that Ghana remains conducive to all residents. ‘It is important that individuals and institutions do not engage in activities that undermine our mandated role’.

The GIS also denied allegation by HANSOL that officers of the Enforcement Unit of GIS who undertook operations in the Western and Central regions between the March 18- 22 vandalized and stole the company’s properties.

‘The operation was professionally carried out and the Service has a video footage of what transpired during the operation. At no stage of the operations did the 13 officers, robbed or vandalize any property.

‘We call on HANSOL MINING LTD [HANSOL] to provide evidence that GIS officers stole, and vandalized their properties,’ the statement said.