6 May 2008

Zambia: Immigration Deports 60 Zim Prostitutes

Ndola — THE Immigration Department on Sunday deported 60 Zimbabwean sex workers whom they also found in possession of several antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

The sex workers were among the 85 suspected illegal immigrants rounded up from guest houses during a joint operation with police conducted in the early hours of Saturday.

Immigration department spokesperson, Mulako Mbangweta and Southern Province police chief, Lemmy Kajoba both confirmed the clamp-down, conducted following reports of some lodges harbouring Zimbabwean sex workers in Livingstone.

Ms Mbangweta said the 60 sex workers were even boasting that they had killed several Zambian men, as they produced tablets of ARVs.

This was to show their HIV status and that they had been willingly passing on the virus to their Zambian male clients.

Some lodges had been turned into brothels where the sex workers were renting rooms.

She said four Zimbabwean men were also deported, while 20 others were found to be Zambians after screening.

One Zimbabwean man, who claimed to have been working for a Chinese company, has been asked to produce a valid work permit by yesterday, while his purported employer will be interrogated as well before appropriate action could be taken.

She said the department had noticed that several people were entering the country using border passes, but were not returning to Zimbabwe.

And in Kabwe, the department picked up 20 Congolese immigrants who were suspected to be human-trafficked to an unknown country.

Ms Mbangweta said three ringleaders were picked and detained at Mukobeko prison.

She called on other stakeholders to support the department in clamping down on illegal immigrants and illicit activities.

She thanked patriotic Zambians who alerted the department whenever they noticed some buses carrying suspected illegal immigrants.

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