Wednesday, 8 June 2022

FAKE IMMIGRATION STAMPS : BEITBRIDGE MAN ARRESTED

A 28-year-old Beitbridge man believed to be part of a racket using fake customs and immigration date stamps to clear goods and people between Zimbabwe and South Africa has been arrested.

Sadam Mutodzaniswa of Kwalu Suburb in the border town was arrested last week after he had stamped six Kenyans’ travel documents with a fake Zimbabwean immigration stamp.

The Kenyans, Musa Abdulla Hussein, Mohammed Abdulla Baduallhi, Ali Mohammed Abidi, Hussein Harum Bullo, Muhammed Abdurrahman Issack, and Ibrahimbashair Douw, have since appeared before Miss Annia Chimweta.

They were warned and cautioned against violating the Immigration Act. Mutodzaniswa pleaded guilty before the same magistrate to assisting the migrants to illegally enter the country.

He was remanded in custody to Thursday.

Prosecuting Miss Esnath Vengedza told the court that on May 27 at around 2 am, the six Kenyans arrived in the country from South Africa en route to their native country.

They then engaged the services of Mutodzaniswa who stamped two passports and four travel documents with a fake immigration stamp.

Soon after, they then proceeded to the exit gate intending to enter Zimbabwe.

They were stopped by Immigration officials from the Compliance and Enforcement section for routine checks.

It was then discovered that the migrants’ travel documents had been stamped with an immigration stamp (A136) that does not exist.

The State said the Kenyans were subsequently arrested and during interrogations, they implicated the accused who was swiftly arrested by border security agents.

Of late the Department of Immigration has been rounding up criminals using fake customs and immigration stamps at the Beitbridge Border Post.

Over 15 people were arrested for related offences in the last 12 months.

Well-orchestrated syndicates are reportedly using the stamps to illegally extend the stay of travellers in either country.

Ordinarily, Zimbabweans are allowed a stay of not more than 90 days per calendar year in South Africa.

South Africans are allowed a stay of 30 days per visit to Zimbabwe.

Those black-listed immigrants and those who require visas, but do not qualify often turn to the services of those operating with fake stamps around or within the port of entry. Herald

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