The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday invaded the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services headquarters in Blantyre and houses of some officers in what the graft-busting agency has described as a search and seizure operation.
In an interview yesterday, ACB director general Reyneck Matemba confirmed the operation, saying it was part of an investigation relating to the issue of illegal immigrants.
He said: “We just conducted a search and seizure operation at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship headquarters in Blantyre and in the homes of some immigration officials. No arrests have been effected and this is part of an ongoing investigation.”
The search and seizure operation comes amid the agency’s crackdown on corrupt officials and State institutions in the aftermath of the court-sanctioned June 23 fresh presidential election that ushered in President Lazarus Chakwera and his nine-party Tonse Alliance.
Matemba said the bureau could not give information on what was seized during the operation.
Efforts to speak to chief immigration officer Masauko Medi, who was among the officers whose houses were searched, proved futile as his phone was out of reach.
Immigration national spokesperson Joseph Chauwa did not pick up our calls despite numerous attempts. He did not also respond to our message on the same.
The search and seizure operation comes two weeks after police arrested 65 India nationals working at Salima Sugar Company, in a joint venture between Malawi Government and an Indian investor, allegedly for staying in the country illegally.
The affected workers were later released on bail and ordered to pay K100 000 surety bail bond each while two of them, a director and manager, were ordered to pay K5 million non-cash surety bail bond.
The arrests came barely a day after Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda paid a surprise visit to the company.