Human traffickers working with high ranking immigration officials have turned Malawi into a haven for undocumented immigrants, it has been revealed.
According to reports, a few buildings around Maselema behind what used to be MTL offices houses multitudes of undocumented Asians.
“They’re assisted by high ranking immigration officials who visit that place regularly, possibly to drop documents and collect lump sums of cash. The facilitator is a very rich and famous Malawian of Asian descent,” a whistleblower said.
He added that even some political figures are involved in the syndicate which thrived through the Bingu wa Mutharika administration and has survived subsequent regimes
“I’m sure no one will dismantle it. I know of one senior immigration official who got back his position when DPP won the 2014 after being redeployed during the People’s Party administration. The syndicate seems to pay its way through in any circumstances, politically or legally,” the source.
He also said that there are other houses in Mudi and Mpingwe where undocumented immigrants are houses.
In the two areas, there is a private police hiding behind community policing that ensures that their syndicate is safe from public eyes.
“You can hardly get permission to enter the streets of Mudi or Mpingwe whether driving or on foot, whether driving in a government vehicle or private car. The situation is beyond dire,” he said.
Further reports show that human traffickers in Malawi – especially Malawians of Asian origin – are being given original documents from immigration headquarters signed by topmost bosses authorising that the people trafficked upon arrival at main airports should be given visas and access to travel through this country to unknown destinations.
According to the reports, officials from the Anti-Corruption Bureau have failed to end the malpractice though they attempted to do so some months ago.
“The figures involved in the deals are not junior officers manning the airports but top government officials in conjunction with the bosses at immigration and police.
“This way, the government is able to get forex (from the clandestine visa payments) and connected individuals are benefiting from the racket as well. This is a very worrisome development because the country’s security is at stake and this can also affect our diplomatic relations with our neighboring countries,” a whistleblower said.