THE Department of Immigration has intercepted a man believed to be part of a racket that has been using fake customs and immigration stamps to clear people between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Chronicle is reliably informed that citizens of the two countries most of them Zimbabweans illegally living in South Africa occasionally give cross-border bus drivers or wheeler dealers their passports for endorsement at the border.
It would then appear as if they would have returned to Zimbabwe at some point and this “legalises” their stay in that country.
“In most of these cases fake immigration stamps are used.
The Assistant Regional Immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Mr Nqobile Ncube said they intercepted one Munyaradzi Shope and recovered four fake immigration stamps.
He said Shope was intercepted while operating his mobile ‘immigration office’ in a Toyota Fun-Cargo within the border post.
He said two other accomplices were on the run.
“The man was intercepted by our Regional Compliance and Enforcement team at around 2AM.
“One of the team observed that there was suspicious traffic of travellers at the vehicle and when he went to investigate, Shope and his two accomplices, who we are yet to identify, drove off,” said Mr Ncube.
“The team then gave a chase and managed to intercept Shope whom we have since handed over to the police. Let me warn the criminal syndicates that they will not be given breathing space.”
Mr Ncube said they had adequately deployed to all key points to reduce incidents of irregular migration and child smuggling.
He said since the start of the festive season, cases of child smuggling have been on the decline.
“We have recorded less than 10 cases. We are glad our efforts are paying dividends we want to warn parents against putting their children’s lives at risk by entrusting them to strangers.
“This trend, where we continue to have parents or guardians who expose their children to illegal migration is disturbing,” said Mr Ncube.
Source: The Chronicle