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2023/03/01      |  Written By:  Captain D Sekgotodi   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

MPUMALANGA – The Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Nico Gerber applauded the excellent work executed by Mpumalanga multidisciplinary team on Monday, 27 February 2023 at KaMagugu following information regarding illegal immigrants who were kept in a safe house, migrating from foreign countries into South Africa without proper documentation.

The team which comprised of the Nelspruit based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team, Crime Intelligence Nelspruit, Provincial Detectives, Nelspruit Visible Policing team as well as Local Criminal Record Centre, followed up the information which led them to the house at KaMagugu. On arrival at the address, the gate was locked and the team managed to gain entry into the property. They found 19 males packed into a three-bedroomed house without furniture.

Preliminary investigation established that out of the 19 immigrants, 14 were Bangladeshis and five were Pakistanis. Police recovered 18 passports, 27 cellphones,  chargers and cables which where packaged together and kept by the caretaker. The suspects who could not communicate in English had passports that were not stamped  within South African borders, they also had different dates of which some were dated in advance. 

The 19 suspects aged between 23 and 40 were arrested and charged for contravention of the Immigration Act. The caretaker was charged for harbouring illegal immigrants. The Department of Home Affairs were summoned and the services of an interpreter were requested to establish the reasons for immigrants to enter the country without proper documentation.

The suspects will appear before the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 01 March 2023.

The Provincial Head, Major General Gerber vowed that the team will continue to fight crime with the assistance of the community members who persistently provide valuable information.