Mkushi Immigration Office Charges 19 Suspected Prohibited Immigrants

The Mkushi Immigration Office took swift action on August 9th, 2023, by charging 19 individuals suspected of unlawful entry into Zambia. The suspects, aged between 16 and 27, were apprehended by the Mkushi Immigration Office on August 5th, 2023, in Kamanga Village within Chief Chikupili Area, approximately 75 kilometers from Mkushi Boma.

The group, consisting of 12 Ethiopians, six Somalis, and one Kenyan, was detected due to the vigilance of local residents who alerted the Immigration Office. A farmer discovered the group hiding in his field and promptly notified authorities. Although six of the suspects were initially captured, the remaining 13 managed to escape. However, they were later apprehended by the authorities.

All 19 suspects have been formally charged with unlawful entry and are currently detained at the Mkushi Correctional Facility, awaiting legal proceedings. This incident contributes to a total of 128 individuals apprehended by the Department of Immigration between August 4th and 9th, 2023.

In a separate incident, the Ndola Regional Immigration Office achieved a significant conviction involving Apollo Fleet Limited. The company was found guilty of employing a foreign worker whose status did not authorize employment, a violation of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010. The case pertains to Gabow Ahmed Abdi, a Somali national holding a Residence Permit as a Driver under Juba Transport Limited. On July 9th, 2023, Abdi was intercepted by an Immigration Officer while driving a Fuel Tanker Truck belonging to Apollo Fleet Limited.

The Ndola Magistrate Court presided over the case, and the company representative was sentenced to pay a fine of K 8,000. This conviction adds to a total of 35 convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between August 4th and 9th, 2023.

In a broader context, the Department of Immigration has successfully concluded the screening of 371 suspects detained during a clean-up operation conducted on July 30th, 2023, across various parts of Lusaka. During this operation, a combined team of Immigration Officers and officers from other security agencies were involved. Of the 371 detainees, 120 refugees were released after verification of their refugee mobility passes and instructed to report to the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR). Additionally, 85 refugees found outside designated refugee settlements were relocated to Mayukwayukwa and Maheba Refugee Camps.

Furthermore, nine individuals of diverse nationalities were released and requested to report to Immigration Headquarters for additional formalities. On the other hand, 117 illegal immigrants from various countries were removed from Zambia, while 35 refugees remain detained for being found outside designated refugee settlements without proper authorization. Additionally, six Zambians detained for riotous behavior were transferred to the Zambia Police Service.

The Department of Immigration commended the public for their continued vigilance in reporting suspected cases of illegal migration. The Department also issued a warning to companies against employing foreign nationals without the appropriate immigration status and advised immigration permit holders to adhere to the stipulated terms and conditions.

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