Police in Mzuzu have apprehended 21 Malawians who were travelling to South Africa for allegedly trying to use passports that were stamped with forged financial statements.
Mzuzu Police Spokesperson, Maurice Chapola, said the suspects had their passports stamped with a like-National Bank stamp.
“They have all been charged with the offence of evasion of regulations exchange control which is contrary to Section 34 of penal code,” explained Chapola.
The police publicist further said they have impounded the bus which they were using and have launched a manhunt behind the syndicate issuing the fake National Bank stamps.
When Malawians just like other nationals are entering South Africa they are supposed to be cleared by authorities before entering the country that they own R300 (about K132 00) with them for eventuality in case they are stranded while there.
“So these perpetrators had documents with them from National Bank to show that they had paid money which was not less than K5000 to obtain the stamp and other documents as if it was the bank making the transactions,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has no figures accounting for the number of Malawians living in South Africa because most of them do not register with the embassy.
But unconfirmed statistics indicate more than 400 000 Malawians are living in South Africa and hundreds trek there monthly to take up menial jobs to feed their families back home. Most of them earn R2000 monthly (about K80 000).
Majority of Malawians flee the country’s economic meltdown and end up in the rainbow nation’s mines, industries and homes, which have long benefited from their cheap labour.
In 2008 hundreds of Malawians living in South Africa were displaced and fled back home in one of the worst xenophobic attacks by the South African citizens who were protesting against the presence of thousands of foreigners in their country, claiming they took away their jobs among other things.
But most of those Malawians who returned home have gone back to South Africa for a fresh start as conditions back home continue worsening.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :