Malawi Immigration uncovers visa processing syndicate: Deports 5 Pakistanis

The Department of Immigration has uncovered a visa processing syndicate which is happening at the Malawi High Commission in Maputo, Mozambique.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Central Region, Ealack Banda, said immigration officials at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) suspected the coming of Pakistan nationals with visa letters prepared in Maputo-Mozambique to be fraudulent.

He with them letters from the Malawi high commission office in Mozambique dated 1st February, 2013.

Banda explained that the Pakistan nationals had come in the country because they all wanted to buy stamps at KIA claiming that in Mozambique they were told the commissioner had no stamps.

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“The first group of three Pakistan nationals arrived on 2nd February 2013 and the other three arrived on 4th February pretending to be on a visit to relatives in Limbe – Blantyre and Lilongwe respectively,” said Banda.

He said it is a normal routine that when foreigners are coming in the country they need to have Government letters and that the Pakistanis looked innocent since they had legal letters from Malawi High Commission in Maputo, Mozambique.

Banda said when the third group arrived on 5th February, they had the exact letters dated 1st February as the first group.

“The immigration officers suspected foul play and wanted to confirm with the Chief Immigration Officer if he was aware of the visa letters without stamps. It was then at this time that we discovered that the letters were issued without the approval of the Chief Immigration Officer,“ he said.

The PRO further said under normal circumstances, foreign nationals who are resident or touring Mozambique would be allowed to get the visa letter at the Malawi Embassy after formal approval from the chief immigration officer.

However, all the Pakistanis in question were neither resident nor touring Mozambique because they were coming straight from Karachi, Pakistan. The other five Pakistanis were therefore served with notice of direction of courier through Ethiopian Airways, Banda said.

He said the immigration department believes the tightening up of the visa processing at its headquarters has forced some Pakistanis to use Malawi Embassy in Mozambique to acquire the visa letters to enable them find their way in.

“In the mean-time we are working hand in hand with the Malawi police to apprehend the six Pakistani nationals who are already in the country and were given 30 days to stay in the country,” Banda said.

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