Following the announcement of reforms in visa acquisition procedures, among other things, by the US embassy, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, has come under intense backlash with a lot of Ghanaians throwing salvos from all angles directed at him. Some have even questioned the motive behind a drastic reform withdrawing courtesies and protocols accorded members of parliament and some politicians. But what we tend to overlook is the bitter truth that the diplomatic community in Ghana are wide awake and privy to all those tricks that amount to Visa racketeering. Coincidentally, this paper has established from a damning undercover video currently in our possession that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party office near Paloma Hotel was a busy spot for Visa racketeering during the party reign. This happened under the full glare of then President John Mahama. As the party in power, capacity building workshops and other international invitations from NDC internationally-affiliated socialist groups were abused.
The NDC party office was virtually turned into all manner of visa trades where a special account was created at Fidelity Bank for transactions. The video has private undercover investigators posing as desperate travelers who thronged the NDC party office in search of opportunities to travel abroad to make a better living. It was also shocking to learn that this practice is seen as a major reward package for NDC foot soldiers who could afford paying some aspects of the costs. It was nail-biting to discover that a whopping sum of ‘Obama USD$ 7,000 and $1,500’ were amounts mentioned as charges from prospective migrants. All these being demanded and captured on the video tape. This goes a long a way to vindicate the US Embassy to the effect that the embassy was right in stripping some politicians off their protocols and courtesies under international conventions. It was clear these fraudulent activities took centre stage through the help of well-known big hands from the party leadership. All they cared about was amassing wealth and nothing short of that. The private investigators engaged one of the most popular activists at the party office whose name was only given as Dela. He was the point man at the centre of collecting the visa monies but the first point of call was this guy at the reception who gave details of how the whole visa deal works; then Dela took over from him to the next stage of the process.