Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Government is making necessary efforts to evacuate some 431 Ghanaians, who are stranded in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, which disclosed this in a statement, said the Ghanaian nationals are in detention in Dubai at the AI Tawadi Medical Centre and the Immigration Centre.
The statement, dated August 18, 2022, indicated that the stranded Ghanaians comprise 341 males, 88 females and two children below the age of three, and they are at the medical centre with an unspecified number of other Africans.
“In the wake of the above development, officers from our Consulate-General in Dubai visited our stranded compatriots at the detention centre and extended proximity consular assistance to them,” the statement added.
The statement explained that the ministry’s investigations revealed that most of the stranded Ghanaian nationals were misled by “unscrupulous agents” who promised unavailable jobs in Dubai and UAE.
The ministry said the agents were paid significant sums to facilitate the entry of the prospective travellers into UAE.
“They only discovered that the jobs they were promised were non-existent. This development of non-availability of job opportunities in Dubai has often placed our compatriots in a precarious condition, making them vulnerable and easy targets for arrest and detention by the law enforcement agencies in the UAE,” the statement noted.
In the circumstance, the Ghana Consulate-General is in touch with the host officials on the matter for the protection of the welfare of the stranded Ghanaians at the detention centres, it added.
According to the statement, even though the stranded Ghanaians went to the UAE on their own volition, “the Government of Ghana is making necessary efforts, in collaboration with the UAE authorities, to effect the evacuation of our stranded nationals back to Ghana.”
The ministry cautioned prospective travellers to the Gulf Region to be mindful of the nefarious activities of unscrupulous agents, pointing out that the Ministries of the Interior and National Security were taking urgent action to deal with the activities of “unnegotiated travel” agencies.