Police in northern Zambia arrested 15 illegal migrants Sunday, 14 of whom are believed to be Ethiopian.
The migrants, including one believed to be Somalian, are males aged between 17 and 28 and were found aboard a Tanzanian registered truck and trailer carrying sulfur.
“The truck and trailer bearing registration numbers T636 DVR and T565 DVP respectively were at around 10:30 hours this morning along the Great North Road when officers driving past the truck noticed a person peeping under a tent, prompting the officers to stop it and immediately conducted a search and discovered the 15,” said Danny Mwale, a deputy police spokesman.
In a statement in the capital Lusaka, Mwale said the police had also detained the driver of the truck, identified as Muhammad Juma Lango, 37, and his co-driver, Shabani Issa, 30, both from Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.
“The truck has also been impounded and the Department of Immigration notified about the incident,” he added.
Zambia has lately been prone to incidences of illegal migration, being exploited as a transit route, especially for people being trafficked from the Horn of Africa on the promise of greener pastures in the southern tip of Africa.
The government, however, says it is devising strategies to quell escalating incidences of human trafficking and illegal migration, which were denting the country’s image.
On Saturday, Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu confirmed that more than 100 illegal immigrants have recently been arrested by security wings for various offenses in the country.
“In fact, some law enforcement officers are among those that have been arrested for abating some of these incidences, and I wish to take this opportunity to warn that the government will make sure that all those that are involved in illegal human trafficking are held accountable,” Mwiimbu said on a working visit to the country’s Central Province.
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