A number of 55 illegal Ethiopian immigrants have been arrested along with 4 Malawians who helped them in entering the country with the use of 3 vehicles which have also been impounded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
Immigration officers were sent to Tukombo area in Nkhatabay following a tip-off by some people that there was an engine boat on Lake Malawi believed to have been from Tanzania and had carried some suspicious people.
After a patrol around the area, the officers managed to arrest the illegal Ethiopian immigrants who were in 2 Malawian minibuses and also 4 Malawians in possession of panga knives.
According to reports, one of the Malawians arrested for helping the foreigners explained that the foreigners were travelling to Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa and were later to proceed to South Africa.
Meanwhile, the suspects are being kept at Mzuzu Prison as they wait to appear in court to answer the charges of illegal entry contrary to section 21 subsection 1 of the Malawi Immigration Act, and the 4 Malawians are to answer charges of aiding and abetting unlawful entry contrary to section 36 of the Malawi Immigration act.
The first two Malawian suspects have been identified as 38 years old, Isaac Chikhosi, a driver for minibus bearing registration number MJ7124 who comes from Tenje village, Traditional Authority Njombwa in Kasungu district and a driver for minibus registration number KK6589, Chifundo Manda ,32 years old from Msochi village in the area of Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa
district was also apprehended.
The remaining two are assistant driver Simoko Simeon who is 32 years old and hails from Takumana village, Traditional authority Mponela in Dowa district, and Maloto Maloni, 35 years from Chidewere village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza district who also happens to be the master minder of the whole syndicate.