Malawi Immigration Officers answering charges of aiding illegal entry

The Lilongwe Magistrate Court Monday continued hearing a case in which three immigration officers are answering charges of aiding and abetting unlawful entry of illegal entrants into the country.

The three have been identified as Dickens Chiutsi (41), Rex Peter Phiri (54) and 47 year-old Bernard Zenifala Kadetseka are answering charges of aiding and abetting unlawful entry into Malawi which is contrary to Section 36 (1) of the Immigration Act.

Chiutsi and Phiri are appearing in court while Kadetseka is reportedly not following bail rules of presenting himself to the police weekly and was not even present in court at the time of the hearing. The police have since applied for a warrant of his arrest.

Meanwhile, four witnesses were paraded in court to testify in the case on Monday.justice

The court heard that on December 30, 2011 at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe the accused three assisted the illegal entry of 10 Bangladesh nationals into Malawi.

Detective Sub Inspector Billy Mwenechanya said they received a tip on the matter and started following it up. He was told to monitor inside the airport at the arrivals section as other police officers mounted a police road block just outside the main entrance of the airport.

At exactly 01:06 am Kenyan Airways number KQ 733 landed at KIA and among the people who got off the plane were the 10 Bangladesh nationals. Phiri monitored their whereabouts and saw that they did not pass through the Immigration office, but were instead directed to board a taxi.

Phiri then alerted his colleagues at the mounted road block to stop the three taxis. Upon questioning all the taxi drivers they told the police they were hired by Phiri and Chiutsi to ferry the 10 into Lilongwe town.

Also testifying in court, Assistant Superintendents Martha Mchisa and Thandie Singano confirmed that they were on duty on the day in question but did not search the Bangladesh nationals as they did not see them at the designated stations.

Detective Ian Ng’oma of national police headquarters testified in court that the three upon being questioned chose to remain silent.

Chiutsi hails from Makawa village Traditional Authority (TA) Mpama in Chiradzulu district, Phiri comes from TA Chiwalo in Machinga while Kadetseka is from Kalumbu village Traditional Authority Chewa in Lilongwe district.

Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa has since adjourned the case to February 7 for further hearing. All accused persons are still on bail.

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