Police, Immigration unmasked trafficking cartel at Dzaleka Refugee Camp

Ministry of Homeland Security agents comprising Malawi Police Service and Department of Immigration Officials have rescue a human trafficking cartel at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

The information that was made available by the agents, the operation has led to the arrest of one Ahmed Muhamed Kondo, an Ethiopia national who, alongside his wife identified as Deborah, was involved in the human trafficking business.

Homeland Security Minister Ken Zikhale Ng’oma confirmed about the development by saying that the officers stormed a compound to Kondo at Dzaleka, where forced open a house with several room.

He further said there were indications that individuals were inhabiting the rooms. Essentially this were more like a prison cell with razor wire on the roof, small rooms and metal doors for forced confinement. The law enforcement agencies were clearly dealing with a human trafficking situation and, upon force opening, they found 31 people confined in the cells.

The minister said that Mr Muhammad and his wife Deborah were arrested right away. Muhammed was illegally staying here in Malawi without valid papers and doing his business of human trafficking while Deborah, has refugee status and also involved in the same business.

The deportation processes of the couple has been effected, such that their country of origin has been informed and is expecting them” said Zikhale Ng’oma.

Zikhale Ng’oma reveal that law enforcers are pursuing other assailants and their associates as there are many involved in human trafficking at the camp.

He added that illegal immigration cannot be entering into the country, building houses or small prisons and forcing people into solitary confinement without authority.

The traffickers convince the victims to travel to Malawi for a better life and for easy route to Europe, America and South Africa.

When they land into the country, that’s when they realize that they have been trafficked and they are kept in cells, which are equal to maximum prison, in exchange for huge amount of money. Some of the victims are forced to contact their relatives back home and the traffickers demand ransom.

For them to be released they need to pay $1,000 but they end up not being released. Instead, the traffickers use them for other businesses. According to an informant Dzeleka Refugee Camp has become a trafficking hub for foreigners and, if not careful, it will be Malawians being trafficked or kidnapped for ransom. It is a cartel that has been there for many years.

Caleb Thole National Coordinator of the Malawi Network against Trafficking, said that the culprits must be punished here in Malawi.

Ng’ombo said, they have committed the offence here and, so, left them be punished here in Malawi. They have Malawians who have committed similar offences abroad and are punished where they have committed the offences. They are not sent back to the country.


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