a VirtualTourist member
I have a lady friend who lives in Accra. She has a Greek (EU) passport
and originally intended to travel yesterday to live with me in England.
When she purchased ticket she was referred to customs who asked about
customs declaration money. She had to produce evidence that she has £1000 becore
she was allowed to travel. She only had £500 but also a letter of invitation
from me stating that I would be responsible for her accommodation, upkeep and
travel etc during her time with me. They still would not accept this as sufficient. I was surprised that they were so inflexible. Can you confirm to
me if this the law in Ghana (that a travelling passenger leaving Ghana has to
have a minimum of £1000 before being allowed to leave.
email address Normanpelling@aol.com
At best, there is some misunderstanding here, at worst the customs official is looking for a "tip". I know customs rules (even if not those of Ghana), and I cannot imagine any circumstances in which there could be a minimum requirement in terms of finances for someone LEAVING their country of residence to travel to another country! Where such requirements are imposed it is by the country of destination, e.g. in this case the UK, to ensure that they do not become a burden on the State during their stay there. I can't see how it could possibly affect Ghana if this person ran out of money while abroad, at least if she is in possession of a return ticket to Ghana, which I imagine the UK will require.
The only reason for referring your friend to customs is that export of Ghanaian currency is apparently illegal and she does have to declare the amount of foreign currency she is exporting - but I have never heard of having to export a minimum amount. I would report this "advice" from Ghanaian Customs to the Ghanaian Embassy in London and ask them if there is any such requirement - preferably in writing, e.g. e-mail, so that your friend has something to show Ghanaian Customs on departure. Before doing so, just check that there is no UK requirement - although even if there is, I fail to see why Ghanaian customs would be trying to police it, it is not their job. It certainly cannot be the case that all persons leaving Ghana have this sort of money when DEPARTING (or indeed when returning after a holiday) as they would have spent it in Ghana during their stay! There is certainly no mention of any such requirement (other than the airport tax) on either of these: africa-first.com/gsaidstmik2..., ghana.co.uk/travel/trip_plan....
In any case, the Ghanaian Customs Service should be able to quote the legal basis for this minimum funding requirement, if there is one.
I am sorry to say that this screams out "scam" at me. Let me try to envisage the scenario; you are in the UK but your "lady friend" is in Ghana... and "she" has emailed you (probably from a yahoo account) to explain why she needs you to send her this money (via Western Union, no doubt) as soon as possible.
Western Union is the fraudsters' best friend; it is anonymous and probably the most insecure way of transferring money. It can be picked up anywhere in the world, and receipt is untraceable.
I would urge you to never send any moey to someone in this situation; many people have been hit very hard by these scammers, and it's a real problem on the internet right now. Arrests are very unlikely, especially in countries where law enforcement can and is very corrupt.
I would suggest you go to http://www.fraudwatchers.org or, if it's a love/dating situation, http://www.internet-love-scams.org and read the very detailed information provided there, for your own peace of mind.
It has nothing to do with the customs in terms of Ghanaian law.
Either someone wanted to get some money from your friend using this strange excuse, or your friend is not that friendly to you.....
IT'S A SCAM
sorry to break that to you, but it's a common ploy that people are using over the internet to get money out of people in other countries. Google "internet love scams" and you'll see.
I have a mail friend lives in accra ghana i want him to vesit me in jamaica we buy the ticket aply for the visa to land in the uk on the us before abord the other airplane . At the travle agent he was told to go to immigration where thay tell him that he have to had us 1,500 doller before he allowed to travel outside accra . thay are saying that traveling for the first time he had to have 1500 doller . If he is traveling a seccond time he need to have 750 . i tell him to pospound the flight un til he get the 1500 . i send hin on invetation letter i also will take ful responsibility of is stay while in jamaica he will be there for only one week. please help me.
Firstly, what is the relevance of the UK and U.S. transit visas (which he would indeed need as a Ghanaian - in fact 2 of each if he would be changing planes in the same countries on the return trip) when you don't even mention his Jamaican entry visa - apart from indicating that you had sent the letter required for this purpose and will take financially responsibility for him in Jamaica. Did he tell you he had a Jamaican visa? Which would have had to come from the Jamaican High Commission in Addis Ababa as there isn't one in Ghana.
Secondly, think about it for a moment: why on top of the documents requires for entering other countries would he need to prove to the Ghanaian Immigration Service (who have no interest in him until he presents his passport to them on the way out) that he has "1,500 doller before he allowed to travel outside accra" (for a first trip, and 750 for a second)? It's understandable that Jamaica might require him to prove he has a certain level of funds before he can enter Jamaica (except that in this case you are apparently supporting him), but what costs could be incurred in Ghana? In fact, this scam is already very well-known to the U.S. Embassy because of the number of Americans who have been caught by "internet friends" supposedly coming to visit them claiming they have to pay a "declaration fee" to leave Ghana and asking them to stump up the money. In fact, the only thing he should need to leave his own country is a Ghanaian passport. You have done right so far in asking him to delay the flight rather than being bounced into sending any money. But as for asking for help: help yourself and drop this guy, he's trying to extort money out of you.