- Foreign Affairs Minister says law governing diplomatic passports needs amendment
- Minister says a list of diplomatic passport holders will be given to immigration at airports
- Minister's concerns follows UK High Commissioner's petition implicating MPs in visa fraud
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, has stated that there is a need to amend the laws governing the issuance of diplomatic passports.
According to Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, an amendment to the laws governing diplomatic passport issuances will go a long way towards curtailing instances where diplomatic passport holders abuse the government travel facility.
Shedding more light on the circumstances surrounding issuances of diplomatic passports, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey referred Section 6 of the Passport and Travel Act of 1967, which dictates what persons are eligible for the travel documents. She pointed out that the “element of discretion” somehow creates a loophole that leaves room for abuse of the travel facility.
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The Foreign Affairs Minister stated that since the change in government this early this year, former government officials have “by and large” returned their passports. Although she could not immediately provide the number of persons who currently possess diplomatic passports.
READ ALSO: NPP MPs involved in UK visa fraud
She related that her ministry will send a list of diplomatic passport holders to immigration officers at the airport, adding that anyone who possessed a diplomatic passport but wasn’t on the list would not be accorded the proper travel facilities.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey’s concerns come in the wake of the UK High Commissioner’s petition to the Speaker of Parliament implicating three sitting MPs, and one former MP in instances of visa fraud.
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