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01-02-2022 – The Department of Immigration in Chipata has apprehended Forty-One (41) Ethiopians for unlawful entry in a suspected attempted human smuggling case intercepted by Immigration Officers. The Ethiopians were apprehended on 28th January, 2022 in an operation spearheaded by the Chipata Regional Immigration Office with support from Immigration Officers from Mwami Immigration Office and Officers from other security wings. The Officers were following-up on a tip-off from members of the community who reported having spotted some suspicious movement of a group of unknown people at Magwero, a place notoriously known for the illegal entry of Ethiopians transiting from Malawi.

Initial questioning of some of the Ethiopians revealed that at the time of their apprehension by the Officers, they had been waiting for transport allegedly arranged by their smugglers. They were all taken into detention at Chipata Police Station after testing negative for COVID-19. They have since been transferred to Namuseche Correctional Facility pending further formalities. This brings the number of persons apprehended by the Department of Immigration between 28th and 31st January, 2022 to Ninety (90).

During this period the Department of Immigration also removed Forty-Eight (48) illegal immigrants from the country, secured Seventeen (17) convictions and refused Nine (09) persons entry into Zambia for failing to meet entry requirements.

We have continued witnessing an increase in incidents of illegal entry of Ethiopians through the Eastern Corridor. Our Officers have continued conducting frequent border patrols and are on high alert to respond swiftly to reports from members of the Public. In this regard we wish to commend members of the communities, especially in border areas for their valuable and accurate information which will continue being key in curbing this unwanted trend.