Immigration department apprehends 111 suspected illegal immigrants in Copperbelt operation


The Department of Immigration on the Copperbelt has arrested 111 suspected illegal immigrants in a recent clean-up operation.

Immigration Public Relations Officer, Namati Nshinka, said a total of 90 suspects of different nationalities, including Burundians, Congolese, Kenyans, Portuguese, Somalis and Tanzanians, were detained pending further screening and possible prosecution.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Friday, Nshinka added that the operation was executed simultaneously in Ndola, Kitwe, Chililabombwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Mokambo Border and Luanshya.

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He also stated that 18 people, eight of whom had Immigration Permits, were requested to report to respective Immigration Offices for further immigration formalities.

“Among those who had Immigration Permits was a 46-year-old Tanzanian truck driver, Jama Mohamed Haji Abdullah, who was intercepted at the ZNS military checkpoint along the Mufulira Road,” he said.

Nshinka added that Abdullah was driving a petrol-laden Mozambican-registered Mitsubishi tanker truck, although his Employment Permit only allowed him to work as an Automotive Mechanic Specialist.

“Two Congolese nationals were served with notices to leave the country immediately, while one Congolese national who had overstayed by five days paid for a Temporary Permit to wind up and leave the country,” Nshinka said.

He said the Copperbelt operation brought the number of people apprehended by the Department of Immigration for various offences countrywide between Tuesday and Thursday to 222.

Furthermore, Nshinka reported that on Thursday, the Petauke Magistrate Court convicted and sentenced a 19-year-old Malawian to 12 months of simple imprisonment without the option of a fine for illegal entry.

“Jonathan Phiri was arrested on May 19, 2024, at a checkpoint within Petauke district from a Chipata-bound public service bus, after he failed to produce proof of legal immigration status,” he said.

Additionally, he stated that the Zambezi Immigration Office on Tuesday had a 35-year-old Tanzanian national, Abdi Bakari, convicted for unlawful stay in Zambia.

He said Bakari was sentenced to a fine of K 15,000 or six months of simple imprisonment.

“He was arrested on May 8, 2024, after investigations revealed that he had been staying in the country without a permit or any authority to do so,” he added.

Nshinka mentioned that Bakari’s Zambian wife was to appear for judgment for harboring and doing business with a foreigner.

“The Petauke and Zambezi court outcomes brought the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between Monday and Thursday to 85,” he revealed.

In addition, Nshinka stated that the Department removed 60 illegal immigrants of different nationalities from the country and refused entry to 19 foreign nationals for failing to meet entry requirements.

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