ACB arrest 8 Immigration officers, two civilians over alleged passport corruption

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Eight officers at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services in Lilongwe and two civilians have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over suspected fraudulent practices involving passport issuance.

The arrests were confirmed to the local media by Hilary Chilomba, the Acting Director General of the ACB. Chilomba, however, declined to provide the identities of the ten suspects, claiming that doing so would jeopardize their ongoing investigation.

Chilomba said the arrests are in response to a month-long undercover investigation by the Bureau that found purported corruption is impeding the issuing of passports, which led to a raid on the Department of Immigration office in Lilongwe on Wednesday evening.

He said, “We have people who are paying more than what is demanded of a normal passport, we have lots of people cutting corners to get passports, and there are serious allegations of corruption which we have to end today.”

The Acting Director General claims that in addition to the recommended K50,000 passport fee, individuals have been paying an additional K200,000 to obtain their passports.

He went on to reveal that large quantities of cash were discovered on several of the accused and added that one of the suspects possessed K2.5 million in cash, for which he was unable to explain.

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