Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has welcomed the interception of 67 Pakistani nationals at the OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng after allegedly entering the country without complying with the immigration laws of the country.

According to the statement released on Sunday, the Pakistanis were denied entry into South Africa in the early hours of today, 13 August 2023, after they failed the immigration test, which included questions about how long their visas entitled them to be in the country.

The department said the 67 Pakistanis with questionable visas were in a flight of 268 passengers that departed for South Africa from Dubai.

“This is a result of a sting operation that was put together after observing certain trends that were suspicious and did not make sense.

“They were interviewed by Immigration Officers and they were asked about where they going and about the purpose of being in South Africa and where they were going to stay given that they were coming here for the first time. They provided conflicting evidence like giving names of non-existent hotels, names of alleged relatives, some of whom did not even exist,” said Motsoaledi.

The Department of Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), the State Security Agency and the Border Management Authority (BMA) led the sting operation.

The group has since been sent back to their home country at their own cost.

“Essentially, these people wanted to come to South Africa but were unable to explain where they were going and for what reason. There is no other way. They have to return to their home country. We can’t allow such people to enter the country,” Motsoaledi lamented.

Motsoaledi noted that some hotels have complained that there is an increase in the number of Pakistanis who book accommodation and then end up not showing up.

“This means that the hotels lose money with these dubious bookings and also on other potential visitors who are unable to book because the hotels are supposed to be full.”

He said the department has been forced to be more vigilant than ever before.

“We are extremely worried by this new trend and we have noticed that the newly acquired e-Visa system, which is meant to facilitate easier entry into the country by tourists, is being seriously abused by some nationals. We will never allow this,” he added.

Source: South African Government News Agency

By spadmin