The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has deported two of the three Pakistan nationals who were convicted on charges of kidnapping and sentenced to 48 months imprisonment.
The two foreigners are Hamza Akbar, 24, and Lehrasib Khan, 26, who left the country last Friday through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
However, mystery surrounds the whereabouts of the third ex-convict Shazed Khan, 23, who is reportedly on the run after getting wind of their impending deportation.
While some sources claim he is hiding within the country, others alleged he crossed the borders to Mozambique where some of his Pakistani friends operate their businesses.
In an interview yesterday, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services deputy spokesperson Wellington Chiponde said a deportation order for the three was issued by Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda as provided for by Section 39 (1) of the Immigration Act of the Laws of Malawi.
He said: “When a person [who is not a Malawian citizen] has been served with a deportation order to leave the country, she or he is deported to his or her home country and such person(s) is declared a prohibited immigrant in Malawi and is barred from entering Malawi for life.”
When asked about the whereabouts of the third ex-convict, national police spokesperson James Kadadzera asked for more time.
According to their itinerary, Hamza and Lehrasib left using Ethiopian Airlines on Friday afternoon for Dubai where they were expected to connect to their home Sargodha City in Punjab Province, Pakistan.
The three Pakistanis were on December 29 2020 sentenced to 48 months imprisonment by the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court after being found guilty of kidnapping a five-year-old Asian child Tahil Muhammad at Mpingwe, Limbe on December 11 2018. Three of their co-accused were acquitted by the court.
After the abduction, they demanded a ransom of $4 million (over K3 billion) from the boy’s father Mohammed Shail, 34, who has a chain of businesses in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The three were released from Chichiri Prison on May 12 2021, having completed serving their prison term in four months and 12 days, a development Malawi Prison Service spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba justified by saying the release followed all procedures.
Shaba explained after the three got the 48 months each, their sentences had a remission of 16 months, meaning they had to be in prison for 32 months and calculating from their date of arrests they were supposed to be released on August 12 2021. However, according to Shaba, the three were further granted a three-month general amnesty by President Lazarus Chakwera which applied to all convicted persons in prisons.