37 Ethiopians trying to sneak to Zimbabwe arrested

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st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Addis Ababa, 24 June 2014 (WIC) - Zimbabwean police have detained 37 Ethiopians who were arrested trying to sneak into neighbouring South Africa.

According to Chief Superitendent Patrick Majuta, the illegal immigrants were intercepted while aboard a South Africa-bound bus last Thursday.

Police said the Ethiopians intended to use an illegal entry point along the crocodile infested Limpopo River that serves as the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“The group had been in the country illegally for two days pending their skipping the border to South Africa,” Mr Majuta told the Chronicle newspaper.

“When we intercepted them they had no valid travel documents. We are yet to establish the point of entry.”

He said the foreigners are being charged for contravening a section of the Immigration Act but their court appearance was delayed by the unavailability of an Amharic interpreter.

The Ethiopians have been remanded in custody till July 4 when they will stand for trial.

Last year, Zimbabwean police also arrested scores of Ethiopians for entering the country through illegal entry points.

Zimbabwe is used by traffickers as a key route because of its porous Beitbridge border with South Africa where syndicates help thousands of people every month to sneak into Africa’s biggest economy.

South Africa is home to over three million Zimbabweans, most of them illegal illegal immigrants.

Thousands are sent back home every year but quickly find their way back to South Africa using the illegal entry points.

Refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo also use Beitbridge, the largest inland port in Southern Africa, to sneak into South Africa. (http://www.nation.co.ke)