By Staff Writer
Twelve Ethiopian nationals have been convicted in Isoka District for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer.
The 12 Ethiopians allegedly attempted to elude immigration officers in Isoka District upon entry into the country by failing to present themselves for immigration formalities contrary to sections 12(2) and 56(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Immigration Department Public Relations Officer Namati Nshinka confirmed the development in a press statement issued saying the Immigration Office in Isoka, secured the conviction of the 12 Ethiopians on August 4, 2022 for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer.
He also said that Immigration Officers intercepted the East Africans aged between 24 and 30 years on July 25, 2022 following a tip-off from a member of the public.
Mr Nshinka said the alert member of the public reported seeing the 12 Ethiopians migrants near Isoka Training Trade School at Mwaiseni aboard a black Mitsubishi Pajero Registration number BAG 2914 ZM.
He said following receipt of the report, the Immigration Officers rushed to the nearest Police Checkpoint to intercept the vehicle but the driver of the Pajero used a different route to avoid detection by the Officers.
He said the immigration officers immediately changed course in pursuit of the vehicle and sighted the over-speeding Pajero as it joined the Great–North Road heading towards Chinsali.
Mr Nshinka said the immigration officers eventually captured the 12 Ethiopians at around 02:00 at Kafwimbi area in Isoka District after the Mitsubishi Pajero suddenly halted after developing a mechanical fault.
He said the Driver of the Mitsubishi Pajero, whose identity remains unknown, fled the scene and remains at large.
Mr Nshinka said the Isoka Magistrate Court sentenced the 12 Ethiopians to pay a fine of K 10,000 each or, in default, nine months simple imprisonment.
He said the Court ruled that the Mitsubishi Pajero Registration Number BAG 2914 be forfeited to the State if the owner fails to make a compelling claim within 90 days.
Meanwhile, Mr Nshinka said the Department of Immigration apprehended 51 persons for various immigration offences between August 4th and 7th 2022.
He said the Department removed 31 illegal immigrants from the country and denied entry to 15 foreign nationals for failing to meet various entry requirements.
Mr Nshinka has since warned transporters against ferrying migrants of questionable immigration status.
He commended and encouraged members of the public to continue reporting suspected cases of illegal migration to the nearest Immigration Office.