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28-06-2024 – The Department of Immigration on 27th June 2024 apprehended 222 persons of different nationalities in a clean-up operation conducted in conjunction with other security wings including the Zambia Police Service, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the National Anti-Terrorism Centre. Those apprehended were 50 persons of unverified nationalities, 42 Burundians, 36 Congolese, 30 Tanzanians and 29 persons claiming to be Zambians. Others were ten Rwandese, eight Zimbabweans, four Chinese, four Indians, four Zambians, two Somalis, one American, one Sierra Leonean and one Ugandan. Of those nabbed, 217 were for various immigration offences while five (four Zambians and one American) were for drug related offences and their cases are being handled by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).  The areas covered included Lusaka West, COMESA market, Kamwala, Nyumba Yanga, Meanwood Ndeke, Chalala, Mtendere, Kalingalinga and Makeni Villa. Of the 217 apprehended for immigration related offences, 44 were released unconditionally after preliminary screening while 54 were requested to report to Immigration Headquarters on Friday, 28th June, 2024 for further immigration formalities. Meanwhile, 119 suspects are detained pending formalities and possible prosecution. 

Further, on 25th and 26th June, 2024, a joint team of Immigration Officers and Officers from other security wings conducted a similar operation in Mugabe Village and Abuja area near the Mwami One Stop Border Post. Forty-three (43) suspects were apprehended during the operation, among them 41 Malawians and two persons who claimed to be Zambians. The Malawians were later removed from the country while the two persons who presented themselves as Zambians were released unconditionally after producing Zambian National Registration Cards.  The two operations brought the number of persons apprehended by the Department between 22nd and 26th June, 2024 to 395.

Furthermore, on 26th and 27th June, 2024, the Serenje Immigration Office secured the conviction of 34 Ethiopians for failing to appear before the nearest Immigration Officer on entry and unlawful stay. Twenty-Six (26) were each sentenced to pay a fine of K 3,000 or three months simple imprisonment while eight were each fined K 3,500 or four months simple imprisonment. The 34 were among the 42 undocumented Ethiopians apprehended in Serenje between 7th and 11th June, 2024 in three separate incidents by Officers from the Police and the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) in three different Toyota Hiace Quantum Vehicles Registration Numbers AIE 8450, AIC 6932 and AIE 7715. Eight Ethiopians were not prosecuted on account of being juveniles. In all the incidents the drivers of the vehicles, believed to be Zambians, escaped when they saw the authorities and remain at large. The Court further ruled that all three vehicles be forfeited to the State if the owners fail to make compelling claims within 90 days.

In addition, the Mumbwa Magistrate Court on 26th June, 2024 convicted and sentenced a 51-year-old Tanzanian Charcoal Burner to five years imprisonment with hard labour without the option of a fine, for unlawful stay. Julius Mbale, a resident of Mumbwa District’s Chibangabwe Village was apprehended by Honorary Forest Rangers on 13th June, 2024 after he was found cutting down trees for the purpose of making a charcoal kiln.  Upon realising that he was a foreign national, the Honorary Forest Rangers referred the matter to the Mumbwa Immigration Office and he was formally arrested on 17th June, 2024. Investigations revealed that Mr. Mbale entered the country in October, 2011 and stayed unlawfully until the date of his arrest. The Serenje and Mumbwa Court outcomes brought the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between 22nd and 26th June, 2024 to 116.

Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration between 22nd and 26th June, 2024 removed 116 illegal immigrants from the country and refused 16 foreign nationals entry for failing to meet various entry requirements.

We wish to thank the security wings who took part in the successful and incident-free operations conducted in Lusaka and Mwami. These arrests have yet again highlighted the importance of collaboration by law enforcement agencies in fighting crime. The Department of Immigration will continue working closely with other law enforcement agencies to rid the country of illegal immigrants. We would also like to warn foreign nationals who deliberately abrogate Immigration Laws that the Department of Immigration will not hesitate to arrest, process them for prosecution and deport them from the country.