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Human Rights Violators
02/27/2009

Ghanaian suspected of human rights violations

Man made false statements to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States

NEW YORK - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Andy Akromah, a.k.a. "Anderson Owusu" in Boston, Mass., for making false statements on U.S. immigration documents. In February 2005, Akromah submitted a form I-485 application to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. In that questionnaire, Akromah responded "no" to questions asking whether he had been arrested or charged for breaking the law, and whether he had ever participated in the killing of any person because of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion.

However, an investigation led by the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crime Unit revealed that Akromah, who resided in New York City at the time, had previously submitted an application for refugee status in Canada under the name "Anderson Owusu." In an interview with Canadian authorities, he stated that he had been employed by the Ghana Bureau of National Investigation and had been involved in arrests of individuals politically opposed to the government, who were executed. The investigation also disclosed that in 1998, Akromah, under the name Anderson Owusu, had been arrested and charged in Canada with criminal offenses, and that the charges were still pending.

Based on the ICE investigation, Akromah is charged with knowingly making a false statement in connection with an application for immigration benefits. If convicted, Akromah faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Akromah, 38, currently resides in Boston, where he was presented before a U.S. magistrate judge and detained.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Lev L. Dassin praised the investigative work of Special Agent-in-Charge Peter J. Smith and his agents in the ICE Office of Investigations in New York, the Boston ICE Office, Canadian Border Services Agency, ICE Attaché Office in Ottawa and the Orangeville, Ontario, Police Service, and the U.S. Department of State for providing valuable assistance.