Ghana suspends officials over Commonwealth visa debacle

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Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo suspended two sports officials on Thursday following the arrest of 60 Ghanaians posing as journalists who tried to illegally enter Australia for the Commonwealth Games.

Pius Enam Hadzide, the deputy minister for youth and sports, and Robert Sarfo Mensah, the director general of the national sports authority, have been "suspended from office, with immediate effect", said Ghana presidency spokesman Eugene Arhin in a statement.

"This decision has been taken following preliminary investigations conducted into the circumstances that led to the arrest of some sixty (60) Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretences," said Arhin, adding that three other officials have been called back from Australia to participate in the investigation.

The suspension comes after news broke that Australian authorities had deported dozens of Ghanaians pretending to be journalists.

In reaction to the suspension, Australia's high commissioner to Ghana Andrew Barnes said "Australian border enforcement is quite strict and we don't let people come to our country illegitimately."

Akufo-Addo has vowed to crack down on corruption in Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa producer behind Ivory Coast.

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