The Mbala Immigration Office says it is holding fifty-one (51) Ethiopian nationals in a suspected case of human trafficking.
Public Relations Officer Namati Nshinka said The Officers apprehended Forty-nine (49) of the fifty-one (51) Ethiopians on Saturday, 30th July 2022, after receiving information of some Ethiopians captured at Senka Village, as they were heading to Nakonde using the Mbala – Nakonde road.
“The Immigration Officers rushed to the scene but initially failed to locate the said Ethiopians due to inconsistent and incoherent information from the informants, a possible indication that they had either been compromised or threatened. However, investigations revealed that the suspected Prohibited Immigrants were still in Senka Village, prompting the Officers to conduct a door-to-door search for the suspects until they found Twenty-Three (23) undocumented Ethiopians locked in a room of a house whose unknown owner was absent” he stated.
Mr. Nshinka said in a statement that investigations revealed that the Ethiopian nationals told the Officers that when they reached Senka and Tefwa Villages, an armed man forced them to ask for money from relatives via phone, failure to which they would not proceed to South Africa.
He said the Mbala Immigration Office has detained three (3) Zambians to assist with the ongoing investigations.