Ghana’s Ambassador to Angola, Moses Bukari Mabenga, has disclosed that the consulate has no budgetary allocation for the repatriation of illegal migrants (especially stowaways) to the country.
He has therefore stated that the four Ghanaian migrants arrested at the coast of Angola by that country’s security agents, would only be brought back to Ghana if there was money to purchase their air tickets.
According to him, the four, including three brothers, are currently in good condition and that the Angolan authorities are willing to release them to the consulate for onward repatriation to Ghana.
Paul Mensah, Patrick Mensah, John Mensah and Michael Amos, aged between 20 and 25, stowed away in Panama Nore-Vive, a vessel which earlier docked at the Takoradi port in the Western Region of Ghana and was on its way back to the Philippines.
They were discovered by the Filipino crew three days later after the vessel had departed from the Takoradi port, but they told their host they were traveling to America.
They were rescued and given food and water by the Filipinos and spent additional three days on the vessel; but towards the coast of Angola the crew spotted some buildings and told the four migrants that that was America and directed them to use an old raft to get to ‘America.’
According to Mr Bukari Mabenga, the four spent about four hours on the raft before they finally arrived at a village along the coast of Angola, near Namibia.
Some fisherman who helped the stowaways took them to a small village where they spent a week before they were finally handed over to the Angolan security agents, who have since confirmed their arrest.
Mr. Mabengba disclosed that two staff of the embassy went to visit them to ascertain their true identity and confirmed to DAILY GUIDE they are indeed Ghanaians.
He also confirmed that the consulate had received a letter from the Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi, Kwabena Darko-Mensah, asking for assistance for the young men to get back to Ghana.
The ambassador disclosed that he has since written back to the MP through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the need to assist in making resources available to purchase their air tickets in view of the constrained budget of the embassy.
By Stephen Zoure
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