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Three Yemenis convicted over fake passports

An Accra Circuit Court has imposed a fine of ¢4,800 each on three Yemenis who travelled to Ghana with fake emergency entry Visas and French passports.

The three in default would serve three months imprisonment each.

The accused are Esmail Yahya Zeyad aka Evra Allerson, Gaafar Eissa Yahya Amer aka Ciro Carlos, and Waleed Ahmed Yahya aka Debuchya Allard, all students.

The Court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, ordered the three to be deported to Yemen after serving their terms.

According to the court, their Yemen passports should be handed over to them after serving sentences to facilitate their deportation to Yemen.

It, however, ordered the destruction of the fake French passport, three months after serving or paying the fines in the presence of the court’s Registrar and officials of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

Handing down the sentences, the court said, it took into consideration the accused persons’ plea for mitigation and for being in custody for the past four and half months.

The conviction came after the three had changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty.

The three contended that they were deceived by the “connection man” and they had also regretted their actions and would not repeat their conduct.

The Yemenis, through their Counsel, further, prayed the court to spare them custodial sentence because the offences constituted a misdemeanour and indicated their readiness to go back to Yemen.

On April 7, this year the court ordered the three to open their defence following its ruling on a submission of no case filed by them through the lawyer, Mr Dominc Owusu Sekyere.

The Court , however, ordered the Police to hand over Eissa Yahya Amer, a businessman, to the Director of the GIS for appropriate action to be taken after acquitting  him of the charges levelled against him.

The four, through their counsel, filed a submission of no case after the prosecution had closed its case.

They argued that the prosecution had failed to make a case against them after calling its witnesses.

According to the Counsel, the prosecution also failed to establish the essential ingredients in the charges of possession of forged documents, fake Emergency Entry Visas, and the forgery of official documents.

Mr Sekyere contended that in the case of Amer, the businessman, he was holding a genuine passport and that he was going to apply for an entry visa in Ghana.

According to Counsel, the act of applying for an entry visa is allowed under the laws of Ghana and the phenomenon is also accepted around the globe.

In the case of the other three, Counsel said the officials of the GIS had the right to have sent them back to their country on any available flight after their checks.

The four Yemenis were facing the charges of possessing forged documents, fake emergency entry Visas, and forgery of official documents.

The prosecution said all the accused persons were Yemeni nationals who arrived at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on board an Ethiopian Airline Flight ET 920, on November 24, last year.

According to the prosecution, while undergoing immigration procedures, Esmail, Gaafar and Waleed were found with French passports with different names.

The prosecution said a further search on them revealed that all the accused persons had Yemeni passports as well while the French passports were found to be fake.

According to the prosecution, when the accused persons were quizzed they claimed one Abdulai Mohammed, an individual based in Yemen, secured the French passports for them.

The prosecutor said they claimed the same person gave them a phone number to call a certain Mohammed on their arrival in Ghana.

The prosecution said the accused persons were on transit in Ghana to France, then to Istanbul, Turkey.

The prosecution said another examination of their Yemeni passports indicated that Esmail and Gaafar had travelled several times to Djibouti before their trip to Ghana.

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