Home Affairs nets illegal immigrants

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pretoria - More than 350 illegal immigrants, believed to have been smuggled into the country by syndicates, were arrested in Johannesburg on Thursday.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the 355 undocumented immigrants were arrested near Crown Mines after a joint operation between the department and other security agencies.

"At this stage, we can also confirm that of this number, 337 were males of Bangledeshi, Pakistani and Chinese origin, while 18 were Chinese females," the department's deputy Director-General for Immigration, Jackie McKay, said.

The illegal immigrants are being held at the Lindela Deportation Centre, waiting to be issued travel documents from their diplomatic representatives in South Africa so that they can be deported to their country of origin.

"We have reason to believe that these 355 undocumented immigrants were smuggled into the country by syndicates operating in both South Africa and their countries of origin," McKay added.

She said the arrests were an indication that government would not tolerate corruption and that those implicated in corrupt activities would face the full might of the law.