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The Mozambican police have detained a group of 25 Ethiopians in Vanduzi in the central province of Manica.
The group is suspected of entering into the country illegally through the neighbouring province of Tete. In addition, police arrested three Mozambican citizens who are thought to have facilitated the entry and transportation of the immigrants. It is thought that the group was en route to neighbouring South Africa via Zimbabwe using the border post of Machipanda.
The spokesperson for the Manica Provincial Police Command, Mateus Mindu, told a press conference that the Ethiopians arrived through the frontier in Tete and had travelled more than 300 kilometres to Vanduzi where they were found hiding in a forest awaiting transport to Machipanda.
Mindu told reporters that the arrests were made after the police were notified of the suspicious activity of the group by local residents in Macadeira. He added that only 15 of the group had passports and these did not contain entry visas.
Investigations are continuing with the likelihood that the Ethiopians will be repatriated whilst their Mozambican accomplices will be charged.
In December, the immigration service in Manica province repatriated 14 Ethiopians who had entered the country illegally through the borders linking Tete province with Malawi and Zambia. They too were believed to have been using Mozambique as a corridor to enter into South Africa.Source: AIM