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Police arrest 8 couriers for 'aiding and abetting' illegal immigrants

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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Police in northern Malawi have arrested eight people for 'aiding and abetting' illegal immigrants. The eight were arrested following a tip from members of the public, according to the Northern Region police spokesperson, Norah Chimwala.

Chimwala said out of the eight, four suspects were arrested at Kiwe Trading Centre in the northern border district of Karonga. The suspects are Melison Kumwenda, 30, 33-year-old Langi Mapunda, Elija Nyasulu, 24, and Kondwani Msowoya, 27.

'These people were aiding three illegal immigrants from the DRC Congo,' she said.

Police in Karonga also arrested Andrew Kamanga, 32, after he was caught with two Ethiopian illegal immigrants.

The police publicist said three other suspects were arrested in the northern district of Mzimba for trafficking four Ethiopians.

'Police managed to arrest them at Jenda Roadblock following a tip,' she said. 'They were travelling on a Toyota vehicle and were intercepted at the road block.'

The three are Hujizi Kanyotho, 29, Samson John, 32, and 37-year-old Martin Msiska.

'Police in the North are appealing to people to report anyone found aiding illegal immigrants,' said Chimwala.

'In recent weeks over 100 illegal immigrants have been arrested and some have been convicted and others repatriated. But in order to win this battle there is need for a good relationship to exist between the public and the police so that we can work together and get rid of these illegal immigrants because they pose a threat to our national security,' Chimwala said.

Illegal immigrants from the Horn of Africa, notably Ethiopia and Somalia, use uncharted routes in Kenya through Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique on their way to South Africa, the biggest economy in Africa.

They normally use a network of couriers who bribe their way through border posts.

Apart from the risk of arrest, the illegals often meet tragic end. At least 50 Ethiopians drowned on Lake Malawi when the overloaded canoe they were travelling in capsized.

A further 43 also suffocated to death in a van in Tanzania as they tried to cross into Malawi.

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