Immigration officers nabbed in visa scam
SIX immigration officers at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre have been arrested for stealing a visa book, containing 60 stickers, and using it for personal gain.
The visa book was stolen at the airport’s immigration office and one of the officers in that office, Wills Kalitera, was identified as a culprit.
Blantyre police spokesperson, Elizabeth Divala, has confirmed the development, identifying the six officers as Kalitera, Francisco Scova, Chancy Manda, Macdonald Mhango and Alexander Chilumpha. The six officers appeared before the High Court in Blantyre on Friday.
“Four of them were arrested on Wednesday and the other two were arrested on Thursday. The six are likely to be charged with theft by public servant but I am yet to get communication on the court proceedings,” Divala said.
The visa book comprises three types of visas, namely, transit visa which costs about $50, single entry visa which costs about $75 and multiple entry visa which costs about $150.
Sources at the airport confided in The Sunday Times that one officer distributed the stickers to five other officers, one working at Muloza Border, three officers at Chikwawa Immigration Office and another officer who works at the Mzuzu Regional Office.
Immigration Department spokesperson, Joseph Chauwa, said in a separate interview that the department has recovered some of the stickers. However, Chauwa refused to shed more light on the issue, saying investigations are underway.
“We got a report last week from our Chileka Office that a visa book had gone missing and, so, we instituted an enquiry and it was found, in the course of the inquiry, that one of the officers there got the book. The department is still investigating the issue,” Chauwa said.
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