While hundreds of Ghanaians queue for passports at the passport office and yet are unable to acquire one, some foreigners are having a free ride, not only in acquiring ordinary passports but also diplomatic ones.
Currently, ordinary passports now sell for GHc 800, while diplomatic passports are going for € 4000 at the passport office.
Ramazan Kafarov, a Russian businessman in Ghana does not only hold an ordinary Ghanaian passport but also a proud owner of a Ghanaian diplomatic passport.
Circumstances under which Ramazan obtained the passport are unclear to the New Crusading Guide, but the laws of Ghana do not allow non-citizens to obtain diplomatic passports.
The bio data passport page of Mr. Ramazan says that he is a Ghanaian by nationality. His passport number is quoted as GO654472 which was issued to him on 31 January 2014 and it is supposed to expire on 30 January 2019. It is duly issued by the passport office of Ghana.
We have decided not to publish the details of Ramazan’s second passport, the diplomatic passport for security reasons.
Our ace investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas who was investigating the matter had to draw attention of the Flagstaff house and leading security agencies to Ramazan’s use of the diplomatic passport which led to its immediate cancellation and his subsequent arrest by Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) officials.
“First of all the passports are genuine. They were duly, lawfully and validly issued to Mr. Ramazan by the Ghanaian authorities. He did not forge the passports. He did not misrepresent any facts.
There must be special and extraordinary and permissible circumstances under which the authorities found it prudent to issue the said passport” Samuel Abu Jinapor Ramazan’s lawyer told the New Crusading Guide in an interview.
Ramazan’s case is not an exception. There are other foreigners who have paid € 4000 and are comfortably using Ghanaian diplomatic and service passports and enjoying the courtesies that come with it. Some people obtain these passports with the sole aim of hiding under it to commit a crime.
Bureaucracies for the Poor, Cash and Carry for the Rich in passport saga!
Passport offices in Ghana are very bureaucratic places. Our investigations years ago and in the recent past has shown that officials deliberately put chokes within the system in order to profiteer from desperate passport applicants.
There are also many cases where African nationals especially those in the West African sub-region are cutting corners to obtain Ghanaian passports thanks to the corruption at our passport offices. These nationals acquire the passports with Ghanaian names.
Meanwhile, ordinary Ghanaians are left to queue for long hours from dawn to dusk only to be told that some machines have either broken down or the time allotted to capture biometric bio data of applicants has elapsed.
Case of Fraud Against Ramazan
Ramazan is in a financial tango with some other foreign nationals who are accusing him of defrauding them to the tune of over $ 60 million(dollars). He is allegedly using Ghana as his hideout. He has subsequently been arrested and granted bail on that particular matter.
Interpol in France and Russia; wanted Ramazan deported to Russia for trial, but that could not happen because Ghana had no such agreement with the Russian Government.
It turned out that Interpol sent more than four signals to Ghana Police Service for Ramazan’s arrest. All of the requests went unanswered. His case which is currently ongoing in a Ghanaian court has become a high profile international case. The Russian Government, Interpol and other interested nationals are all keen on what would happen to Ramazan in our Ghanaian Circuit Court presided over by His Honour Mr. Francis Obiri.
There is more to come from other Russians on how Ramazan took their money in the name of investing in gold and eventually bolting with their investments – an allegation he denies.
Ramazan’s lawyers are resolute that their client has not defrauded anybody.
Samuel A. Jinapor of Kulendi @ Law, counsel for Ramazan on the passport said:
“The Accra Circuit Court has granted bail to Ramazan. The court set the bail condition at GH¢ 7 million with three sureties who are all Ghanaians. The accused person is also to report to the police every Wednesday between 2 pm and 5 pm.
“He was charged with defrauding by false pretence but has pleaded not guilty.
“Ramazan was arrested at his East legon residence on February 25, 2015 by personnel from the Accra branch of the BNI
“His arrest followed a red alert sent to Interpol Accra by Interpol Moscow, Russia on January 28, 2014.”
The letter in question was from the Russian Ministry of Interior’s General Headquarters of the Internal Affairs Directorate in Rostov. It was titled “RELATIVE SEARCH FOR A PERSON,” and addressed to the Senior Investigator of the Directorate and the Lieutenant Colonel of Justice.
Portions of that letter read as follows:
“… according to the Internal Research Affairs Department of Russia, the accused has a criminal case No. 2013727 dated 22.08.2013 – a crime committed under KU. 4. Page 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
“Kofarov Ramazan Kofarovich, born on 4th November, 1971 in Rostov – on – Don has been placed in the International Wanted List for his arrest and extradition,” the letter added.
It was signed and stamped by Police Lieutenant Colonel G.R. Vairadan and O.V. Leshanko.
Abu Samuel Jinapor also stated that, Mr. Ramazan is an accomplished, astute and reputable international businessman. “He has never defrauded anybody. On a specific criminal proceeding pending in the Ghanaian court Mr. Ramazan has palpably pleaded not guilty” he said.
“The incontrovertible fact relating to this matter which we are eager to demonstrate in court are that, Mr. Ramazan entered into a joint venture relationship with Rodenko.
He has since fully satisfied all his obligations under the joint venture he has taken.
He has since taken a commercial suit in the High Court of Ghana against Mr. Rodenko claiming amongst others an amount of $30 million dollars for several breaches of the said joint venture” he concluded.
Our investigations have revealed that Mr. Ramazan is very reluctant in going to his home country of Russia or any other European country for that matter to face criminal charges. He seems more comfortable in Ghana, the country where he has been able to acquire two passports – an ordinary passport and a diplomatic passport.
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