Fraudsters will be prosecuted as biometric passport introduced – Immigration officer

The Central Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mrs. Joyce Addo, warned on Monday that with the introduction of the new biometric passport, any attempt to acquire additional passports under different names using other details would be detected and offenders, as well as middlemen, would be prosecuted.

She explained that the new biometric passport which would be launched next month and becomes operational in April, was a counter-fraud measure to prevent identity theft and fraud and was embedded with several security features and information to enable its authenticity to be checked.

At a workers’ durbar organised by the GIS in collaboration with the Information Services Department (ISD) to educate the public on the new biometric passports in Cape Coast, Mrs Addo said it had been specifically designed for Ghana and that the biometric data had been designed to restrict applicants to own only one passport.

She noted that since the world was a global village, the use of biometric passports would provide free passage and also make travelling easier.

The Regional Officer in charge of passports, Mr Peter Osei Safo, said the normal processing of the passport would take a maximum of 15 working days whereas an expedited process would take three days.

In terms of cost, he said the proposed fees which were before Parliament were GH¢100 for expedited processing and GH¢50 for the normal processing and they included the cost of the forms and the processing.

When asked why the validity period of the biometric passport is five years as compared to the old system of 10 years, Mr Safo said all countries under biometric passport system had a validity period of five years.

He advised the public to ensure that passport application forms were correctly filled and presented in person for vetting in order to prove their nationality and collected by the applicant.

Source: GNA

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