Immigration deports 62 Ethiopian victims of suspected human trafficking


The Department of Immigration in Lusaka has released 62 Ethiopian victims of suspected human trafficking.

Meanwhile, the immigration and police in Isoka have apprehended 15 people in a suspected human trafficking and smuggling case.

On the release of the Ethiopians, Department of Immigration Public Relations Officer Namati Nshinka said the first group of 32 left the country on February 3, 2023, while the second was removed on February 8, 2023.

Nshinka said the suspected victims came from various parts of Zambia in busted suspected cases of human trafficking.

“The removal is also part of the Department’s efforts to decongest Correctional Facilities across the country.

“The removal of the Ethiopians brings the number of removals of different nationalities between February 3 and February 8, 2023 to 102,” he said in a statement issued on Thursday.

Read more: Immigration charges Zambian for human trafficking

In another development, the Isoka Immigration Office working together with the Zambia Police has apprehended fifteen people for suspected human trafficking.

Nshinka said among them were five Zambians and 10 undocumented suspected Somali nationals.

He said the group was intercepted in the early hours of February 9, 2023 at the Mwaiseni Checkpoint aboard a softwood timber-laden containerized white Mercedes Benz Axor Truck Registration number BAT 5630 owned by Anikal Limited located of Plot 627 Kafue Road Lusaka.

He said the five male Zambians apprehended were Hudson Chitonena (32) of Makeni, Lusaka who was driving the truck, and his two co-drivers Lancy Kamalondo (30) and Mathews Chileshe (27) of Lusaka and Mpika, respectively. Also nabbed were two Zambian passengers.

“The Somalis were discovered following a routine inspection of the truck at the Checkpoint. A sum of K 19,850 was found in Chitonena’s possession. Preliminary investigations have since revealed that this amount was part of a K 20,000 part payment made to him by an unknown Nakonde-based person to transport the Somalis to Kapiri Mposhi.

“All the 15 suspects on board are currently detained at Isoka Police Station pending further investigations and possible prosecution,” Nshinka said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration in Lusaka has detained two Zambians for suspected human trafficking.

According to Nshinka, the duo was handed over to Immigration by Police on 8th February 2023.

This, he said, was after they were nabbed by Police after initially managing to escape in the incidents where 33 undocumented Ethiopians were arrested in Kaunda Square Stage II and Chalimbana in January 2023.

“The Isoka incident and the receipt of the two Zambian suspected traffickers bring the number of persons apprehended between February 3 and February 8, 2023 to 154,” he said.

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