Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Department of Immigration in collaboration with other border agencies apprehended a 30-year-old man believed to be part of a syndicate using fake immigration and customs stamps to clear travellers and goods between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Trust Dhliwayo of Dulivhadzimo, was arrested in an early morning raid at his house after he had endorsed the passports of seven Zimbabweans travelling from South Africa to Zimbabwe on Saturday evening. Sources close to the investigations said Dhliwayo was found with one fake South African Customs stamp, four fake Zimbabwe Immigration stamps, two Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) stamps, four fake South African Permits, One fake Zimbabwe Defensive Drivers’ License, three ink pads and two ink bottles.
“He said since been handed over to the police,” said the source.
Dhliwayo becomes the second suspects to be arrested after opening an illegal immigration office at the border, following the arrest of Munyaradzi Shope last week while clearing travellers using fake immigration stamps in his vehicle, a Fun Cargo.
It is understood that the Department of Immigration has deployed a Regional Compliance and Enforcement Unit to deal with issues of child smuggling, rent-seeking activities and irregular migration at the country’s and Sadc’s busiest inland port.
The Assistant Regional Immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Mr Nqobile Ncube said, “We are not backing down, let all those involved in this racket be warned. Their days are numbered.
“We are working with other border agencies to put an end to this vice.
These abet criminal activities and cause loss of revenue to the State and help wanted criminals to move undetected,” said Mr Ncube. He said they had adequately deployed to all key points to reduce incidents of irregular migration (border jumping) especially child smuggling.
He said they had come up with a number of strategies to deal with the rackets clearing people using fake immigration and customs stamps.