Immigration arrests 48 Somalis

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Immigration arrests 48 Somalis

Kapiri Mposhi, 15 September,2014, ZANIS – Fourty-eight (48)  illegal immigrants have been arrested in a combined operation by the Immigration department and State police in Kapiri Mposhi district.

The illegal immigrants, all Somali nationals, were arrested after they sneaked into the country without valid documents.

ZANIS reports that the illegal immigrants were apprehended around 21:00 hours yesterday aboard a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) bound Scania goods truck .

The truck, registration number T 606 BDL was being driven by Frasto Mtepzi-Mbilinyi, 46, a Tanzanian national.

 Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner Beatrice Sikazwe who confirmed the development to ZANIS said the illegal immigrants were discovered hiding in two shipping container trailers laden with buckets of edible oil traveling from Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania destined for Kipushi, in the DRC.

Ms. Sikazwe said the Scania truck belonging to Aquarius Roadways Limited of Dar-es- salaam in Tanzania was intercepted at Mafwasa area along the Great North Road by alert Immigration and Police officers.

The illegal immigrants were discreetly being shipped in the containers of the goods truck transporting edible oil from Tanzania to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 “According to the shipment records this truck was believed to be carrying cooking oil but when immigration and police officers conducted an inspection they discovered that there were people also who were hiding behind the buckets of cooking oil in these containers,” Ms. Sikazwe said.

Ms. Sikazwe said the illegal immigrants have been charged for failing to appear before Immigration Officers contrary to Section 12 chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia as read with the Immigration Act Number 18 of 2010.

The 48 have since been transferred to Mpima Prison in Kabwe because of a shortage of detention cells at Kapiri Mposhi Police Station while awaiting court appearance and possible deportation to their country of origin.

And all the 48 illegal immigrants and the driver of the vehicle were subjected to screening for the Ebola virus before being detained at Kapiri Mposhi Police Station.

Ministry of Health dispatched officers and mounted a temporal screening center within the police station premises to examine the suspects against the deadly virus.

However, none of the suspects was found with Ebola except for four who presented with high fever and diarrhea and were immediately put on medication.

Meanwhile, Central Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ronald Sinyangwe said government is concerned about the increased number of foreign nationals entering the country without valid documents especially during the time that some African countries were beset with Ebola.

Mr. Sinyangwe however said government was putting in place measures to curb illegal entry into the country through intensified security and health operations at check points.

“We are aware of the Ebola virus that’s why we moved cautiously before detaining these people who entered the country illegally and without any form of screening against this deadly disease,” Mr. Sikazwe said.    

 Mr. Sikazwe commended police and immigration officers in Kapiri Mposhi for being alert and thwarting the illegal entry of the immigrants into the country.

“Central province is a transit route for traffic linking the Eastern, Central and Southern African regions so we should be very alive to these issues and put up measures to prevent the continued passage of illegal immigrants,” Mr. Sinyangwe said.

He said government has provided necessary support to the Ministry of Health in the province to screen Ebola and that it has also intensified sensitization of the local people on the disease through the District Liaison Committees.