Melo Media, Thursday, 23rd November, 2023
The Lusaka Regional Immigration Office has detained four Zambians in connection with a suspected case of smuggling migrants. The case involves 16 individuals believed to be Ethiopian nationals who were also apprehended.
Yesterday at around 09:00 hours, a routine patrol around Roma and Ngwerere areas led to the arrest of four individuals suspected to be involved in criminal activities. The suspects were identified as Samson Masuka from Lusaka’s Balastone, Geoffrey Chumbwe from Lusaka’s Silverest, Kakoma Masumba from Kaunda Square, and Renson Sinkala also from Kaunda Square. It is believed that Masuka was the mastermind behind the criminal activities.
According to Namati Nshinka, the Immigration Public Relations Officer, the situation intensified rapidly as immigration officers were informed about a white Fortuner vehicle, believed to be transporting illegal immigrants, being sighted near the water falls mall in Lusaka’s Silverest area.
According to Mr. Nshinka, the officers promptly responded to the lead and quickly arrived at the scene. After conducting a thorough search, they were able to locate the vehicle, which appeared to have been abandoned by the driver after dropping off the passengers at an undisclosed location.
Mr. Nshinka said that immigration officers began to closely monitor the vehicle as it was being driven by Geoffrey Chumbwe. Eventually, Chumbwe parked the vehicle, which had been altered by removing the back seats in order to increase its carrying capacity.
According to Mr. Nshinka, upon the officers’ approach to the driver, he initially claimed to have no knowledge of the suspected Ethiopians’ whereabouts. However, he then guided the officers to Kaunda Square, where he alleged that Kakoma Masumba and Renson Sinkala, who supposedly transported the Ethiopians from Kasama, resided. Subsequently, the officers apprehended the two suspects, and through further investigations, they discovered that Geoffrey Chumbwe’s residence in Silverest housed 16 undocumented suspected Ethiopians in a gazebo.