The State on Thursday presented its first prosecution witness in the case involving Eric Amoateng, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, over a forged passport.
Mr Ibrahim Issaka Lang-Hani, an Assistant Controller of Immigration Service told an Accra Circuit Court that he was on duty, when he was notified by the Bureau of national Investigations (BNI) that a deportee would be arriving from the USA on Delta airlines.
He said as part of immigration operations, they normally went on the tarmac, when a flight landed to receive documentation from the crew member, who handled the document of the deportee.
“On this day, when we went to the person, he said he was not given any document, so l went back to the arrival hall, where all the passengers disembark,” he added.
[contextly_sidebar id=”lizLOI3BO4gfzpoC7RHWMnX72BPWVrbi”]Mr Lang-Hani, who is also the Head of Documents Fraud Office at the Airport said the said document in question was the travel document of the accused person.
The prosecution witness said at the arrival hall he spotted the accused person and asked one of his colleagues to lead him to his office, where he debriefed him on why he was deported.
He said the accused person presented his passport and when he looked closely at the bio data page of the passport, “l told him that the page had been forged”.
He said technically, the bio data page had been lifted and substituted into the current passport, indicating that genuinely if a passport was issued and any part was altered illegally, the passport becomes a forged document.
The witness told the court that he was surprised at Mr Amoateng’s explanation, that after serving his sentence, he wrote to the consulate of the Ghana High Commission to get him a travel document but there was no response.
According to him, the accused asked someone in Ghana to do the passport for him in Ghana.
He said he told the accused, he was going to confiscate his passport but the accused person demanded for a photocopy of the passport and he was handed over to the officials of the airport security.
The passport together with a written report was forwarded to the appropriate authorities.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Aidan Dery prayed the court presided over by Ms Ellen Vivian Amoah for an adjournment to enable prosecution tender the document.
The former MP, arrived in Ghana after serving a 10-year jail term in the United States over narcotic related charges.
The accused person pleaded not guilty and he was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢200,000.00 with three sureties one to be justified.
He is to report to the Police every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Amoateng is alleged to have travelled to Ghana with a female Ghanaian passport number 112347080 after serving his conviction abroad.
The case of the state was that in the month of December 2005, the accused went to the United States. In the same month, he was arrested for possessing heroin, a narcotic drug.
Amoateng served his sentence and on July 30, he was released from prison.
DSP Dery said on August 7, the accused arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on board a Delta Airline at 1420 hours.
During his arrival formalities it was detected that he had in his possession a Ghanaian passport number H2347080, which was allegedly forged, with the bio data page substituted.
Investigations, according to DSP Dery revealed that Amoateng’s passport belonged to one Barbara Inkum and the said passport was issued on February 2009, the time when he (Amoateng) was in prison.