Immigration compliance unit busts another fake stamps syndicate

Source: Immigration compliance unit busts another fake stamps syndicate | The Herald

Immigration compliance unit busts another fake stamps syndicate

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

The Department of Immigration’s regional compliance and enforcement unit has busted another fake stamps syndicate and arrested two men in Beitbridge town.

It is reported that the suspects were using two Zimbabwean and two South African immigration replica stamps to clear travellers between the two countries since the beginning of this year.

The two men believed to be part of a bigger racket are alleged to have operated close to the border assisting call-in clients only.

Their identity is yet to be revealed pending further investigations into the syndicate.

Acting head of immigration at Beitbridge, Mr Trustworthy Manatsire said the duo was nabbed in a sting operation on Sunday.

“We are not relenting. Let me also warn all those involved in similar activities that their days are numbered,” he said.

“As a department, we are working with other security agents at the border to put an end to this vice.

“On this latest case, we received information on the existence of two men who were using fake immigration stamps at a house in one of the suburbs”.

Mr Manatsire said they then teamed up with other security agents and raided the house.

The team recovered four fake immigration stamps.

Two were replicas of the South African immigration while two were imitations of Zimbabwean immigration stamps.

“We have confiscated the four fake stamps and handed the two suspects to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for further management,” said the senior immigration official.

Of late there has been a surge in syndicates operating fake immigration offices at the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

More than 15 people have been arrested by immigration authorities on similar charges in the last 12 months.

Under the current immigration regulations, South Africans are allowed 30 days stay in Zimbabwe at every entry.

However, those using fake documents or reluctant to renew their stay engage the services of the fake immigration officers.

In South Africa, Zimbabweans are allowed an entry not exceeding 90 days annually.

As a result, many are resorting to bogus officials to extend their stay.

They are charged any fee starting from R100 depending on each “traveller’s” circumstances.