21 victims of human tracking die in Zambia

Many refugees are being trafficked to Zambia, where they work in the stone-crushing industry, farms, and illegal mining

21 victims of human tracking die in Zambia

World Bulletin / News Desk

The number of Somali nationals that died after suffocating in a container truck, in what authorities suspect to be a growing human trafficking syndicate in Zambia, has grown from 15 to 21, local police said Friday.

Luapula province Police Commissioner Hudson Namachila said in Lusaka via telephone that late on Thursday 55 Somali nationals were found stuffed in a Zambian contain truck destined for Mufulira, on the Copperbelt province from Kasama, in Zambia’s Northern Province, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I wish to confirm that the death toll has risen from our initial figure of 15 to 21. The 15 deceased were found dead in a truck where they were sandwiched between bundles of fish, and the six others died on their way to the hospital in Ndola.”

“All the deceased lie in the Ndola General Hospital mortuary awaiting postmortems and burial,” he added.

According to Namachila, a Zambian driver and his lorry boy assistant were arrested and detained by the Congolese authorities that intercepted the truck after hearing some loud bangs coming from the truck.

“I can also inform you that the Congolese police have a male suspect, identified as Edward Simwamba, a driver of the said containerized truck together with his lorry-boy, Kesta Kanyanta, and 22 others who are helping them with the investigation.”

Immigration Public Relation Manager Namati Nshika said in an interview that Zambia is not only a preferred destination, but also a transit route for refugees from the region and beyond fleeing trouble from their countries of origin.

“Our records show that many refugees are being trafficked to Zambia, where they are made to work in the booming stone-crushing industry, farms, and illegal mining business. Some refugees are using Zambia as a transit route into the Southern region where they go to seek fortunes and refuge after fleeing trouble from their countries of origins.”

According to the immigration record, refugees trekking into Zambia are from war-torn areas within the region and those seeking illicit business, including drug trafficking.

“As a landlocked country, Zambia is an attractive transit area, not only for smuggling people but also drugs. This makes the country more vulnerable to cross-border crimes,” Police Inspector General Kanganja Kakoma said.

“But as police, we shall do everything possible to get rid of all criminal activities to make the country safe for investments and general habitation,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Haziran 2016, 14:59