The Department of Immigration has urged Zambians to resist the temptation of involving themselves in human trafficking because the consequences are very grave.Public relations officer in the department of Immigration Namati Nshinka confirmed that Department received information that a Zambian Truck Registration number AFB 496 belonging to BM Transport of Ndola had been intercepted by Congolese Officials about 8 km from Mwenda Border Control in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Border corresponding to Chembe Border Control on the Zambian side) along the Pedicle road.
Below is the Full Press statement
19 ETHIOPIANS DIE IN A SUSPECTED HUMAN SMUGGLING/ TRAFFICKING CASE
I wish to confirm that on Wednesday, 15th June, 2016, the Department received information that a Zambian Truck Registration number AFB 496 belonging to BM Transport of Ndola had been intercepted by Congolese Officials about 8 km from Mwenda Border Control in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Border corresponding to Chembe Border Control on the Zambian side) along the Pedicle road. Alerted by motorists who heard banging sounds emanating from the container of the truck, the Congolese Officials stopped the truck and discovered 73 Ethiopians behind bags of fish and beans. Eleven (11) of the Seventy Three (73) Ethiopians were reported deceased at the time the container was opened, this number has since risen to Nineteen (19). The actual cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but it is likely that they may have suffocated due to poor ventilation in the container which was laden with bags of fish and beans. The bodies of the 19 Ethiopians have since been transferred to Ndola Central Hospital Mortuary.
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, by the name of Edward Simwaba (29), a Zambians of Masala in Ndola, his co-driver, Kesta Kanyanta (37), also of Masala Ndola, and another named Zambian, together with the 54 surviving Ethiopians have since been transferred to Ndola. Further, the Department in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is making arrangements to transfer the Ethiopians to Lusaka so as to adequately attend to their immediate needs such as shelter, clothing, food and medical care, as many of them are very frail owing to the ordeal they suffered.
This is a suspected cases of human trafficking or smuggling and Investigations have since been instituted. However, preliminary investigations seem to suggest that the foreigners may have entered Zambia from Tanzanian using the Mbala route, and may have passed through Kasama and Mansa, before being intercepted along the pedicle Road. It is believed that they avoided the usual Nakonde – Mpika route due to the souring number of interceptions being made along that route. Their final destination is believed to have been South Africa.
This tragic incident should remind everyone that the masterminds of these vicious and evil transnational crimes are willing do just about anything get away with their criminal activities, even if it means putting the lives of their victims in grave danger. I wish to warn the perpetrators that sooner or later they will be punished for their crimes. I further, wish to urge Zambians to resist the temptation of involving themselves in these vices, because the consequences are very grave.
Namati H. Nshinka (Mr)
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER