IMMIGRATION authorities in Ndola on Friday seized passports from Democratic Republic of Congo, TP Mazembe players Stoppila Sunzu, Rainford Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala awaiting clearance.
The trio who were intercepted at Kasumbalesa border post as they attempted to cross into Lubumbashi arrived at the Copperbelt regional immigration offices in Ndola in a GRZ Toyota Hilux registration 738 CF at around 17:25 hours in the company of officers.
The officers undertook a verifying process of the trio's passports to ascertain the entry and exit records before the players were quizzed for over three hours in the presence of their lawyer Derrick Mulenga of Derrick Mulenga and Associates.
The players who missed TP Mazembe's Confederations Cup home game against Stade Malien of Mali yesterday were released and will to re-appear before the Ndola immigration authorities tomorrow at 08:00 hours for further scrutiny.
And speaking to journalists, Mulenga confirmed the seizure of the players' passports saying the trio had given statements on allegations levelled against them.
Mulenga, however, reiterated that at no time did any of his clients cross into the DRC as they had been in the country when they were being sought after by the authorities for almost a week.
"The players have given their statement and we have been advised to come back on Monday morning at 08:00 hours.
The players will not go anywhere as their passports are in the possession of immigration officers so they will remain in the country until they are cleared on Monday," he said.
The TP Mazembe stars missed Zambia's friendly against Brazil in China in midweek amid a row over their fitness and were alleged to have crossed into the DRC illegally.
On Sunday last week, the Immigration Department issued an alert to its officers in all border posts across the country to have the three arrested on sight for contravening the immigration exit procedure.
Meanwhile, Immigration department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said in an interview that the officers was carefully studying the statement given by TP Mazembe representative Andre Mtine who was picked up on Thursday in Ndola.
Nshinka said Mtine may be summoned to face the officers again depending on the outcome of investigations.
"We are studying the statement that Mr Mtine gave because it is a basis of our investigations and he may called back to appear before our officers if they need him," he said.