FIFTY people have been arrested in two separate incidents of suspected human trafficking or smuggling in Nakonde and Lusaka after tip-offs from members of the public.
Immigration Department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said in a statement yesterday that immigration officers in Nakonde swung into action and intercepted the vehicle in which 36 Ethiopian nationals where transported into the country at Donald Siwale Primary School after a tip-off from members of public.
Mr. Nshinka named the two Zambians involved as Jonathan Mwale, 43, and Daniel Mwape, 33.
He said all the 34 Ethiopians did not have any travel documents that allowed them to be in Zambia, adding that the vehicle that was used to transport them was driven by the two Zambians.
Mr Nshinka said preliminary investigations revealed that the vehicle was destined for Mpika where further travel arrangements were to be made to another destination.
He said the Toyota Quantum vehicle which was used in the operation has been impounded while the 36 foreigners were in police custody pending further investigations and possible prosecution.
“All the 34 Ethiopians did not have any documentation at the time of the arrests. It is understood that they were heading to Mpika where further travel arrangements were to be made.
The Ethiopians and the two Zambians are currently detained pending further investigations and possible prosecution while the vehicle has been impounded,” Mr. Nshinka said.
Meanwhile, in Lusaka, 16 more people were arrested for similar activities after 12 Ethiopians were ferried into the country with the aid of a Zambian national using three different taxis.
Mr. Nshinka said the mastermind of the Lusaka incident was a Zambian.
He said out of the 12 Ethiopians nabbed, five were in possession of passports which had no entry endorsements for Zambia while the other seven did not have any documents at the time of the arrests.
Mr Nshinka said the three taxi drivers were also arrested together with the suspected mastermind and that they were all detained at Kamwala Remand Prison pending further investigations and possible prosecution while the taxis which were used in the operation were impounded.