Zambian Authorities Intercept 51 Illegal Ethiopians En Route South Africa

Zambian Authorities Intercept 51 Illegal Ethiopians En Route South Africa (News Central TV)

Immigration authorities in Zambia on Thursday said they intercepted and arrested 51 illegal Ethiopians who were on their way to South Africa.

The Immigration Department’s spokesperson, Namati Nshinka, stated that the authorities had obtained intelligence about some suspected illegal immigrants who were being held at two settlements in the Mbala district of northern Zambia.

Preliminary interviews revealed that unidentified people had recruited the Ethiopians by alluring them with promises of jobs in South Africa, he claimed, adding that a door-to-door check in the two communities led to the finding of undocumented Ethiopians incarcerated in two different houses.

“They revealed that they left Ethiopia four months ago and embarked on the daunting perilous journey to their promised land, passing through forest thickets, being fed every three days, and later transported in a containerized truck,” he said in a statement.

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Immigration Department’s spokesperson Namati Nshinka

Since then, three Zambians have been detained by immigration authorities in order to aid with their investigations.

He added that the Ethiopians revealed that they left Ethiopia four months ago and embarked on the daunting perilous journey where they were passing through forest thickets, being fed every three days, and later transported in a containerised truck.

Nshinka cited that the Immigration Officers were told by the Ethiopians that after they reached Senka and Tefwa Villages, an armed man forced them to ask for money from relatives via phone, and failure to which they would not proceed to South Africa.

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He continued by saying that despite arriving on the site quickly, the immigration officers were unable to find the alleged Ethiopians at first because of the conflicting and confusing information provided by the informants, which may have been a sign that they had been compromised or threatened.

However, Nshinka pointed out that the investigations had shown that the alleged Prohibited Immigrants were still in Senka Village, leading the officers to search the neighborhood door to door for the suspects until they discovered 23 undocumented Ethiopians locked in a room of a house whose unidentified owner was away when the search was being conducted.

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