Immigrants bankrolling Malawi for passage to South Africa

About 500 – 1000 illegal immigrants are aided to enter Malawi per week, according to stats from both the Police and the Immigration department. The local syndicate is part of a wider network spanning Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, sources said.

A former member of the syndicate, who preferred anonymity for fear of retribution, said they charged MK60,000 (US$120) per person to facilitate passage through more than 10 Police check points to the Capital City Lilongwe, about 650Km from the Malawi border with Tanzania.

Once in Lilongwe, another syndicate takes charge of the undocumented persons and arrange either for their onward travel to other countries or for stay in Malawi.

Our Source also said the trafficking will not stop because senior Cops are also part of it.The presence of Cops in this trafficking syndicate is a well-known fact yet the Malawi government seem unworried. An investigation financed by the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has found out that the Malawi government and its security apparatus are aware of the existence of this syndicate.

However, anecdotal evidence points to the fact that because government is benefiting from the fines the court mete to those unfortunate to be arrested hence the syndicate continues it work.