A number of expatriates linked to the Botswana human trafficking scandal were this week declared prohibited immigrants (PI) ÔÇô the Botswana Police Service confirmed this week.
Commissioner of Police, Edwin Batshu, told The Sunday Standard that the Immigration Department had started withdrawing resident permits of expatriates implicated in the large-scale human trafficking network believed to involve local Asian investors, police officers and labour consultants.
Batshu, however, could not disclose the number of expatriates who have so far been PIed and their names. He referred The Sunday Standard to the Chief Immigration Officer, who could not be reached as he was reported to be out of the country.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police and Deputy Director Criminal Investigations Department confirmed that a number of people involved in the trafficking ring had been nabbed but would not disclose numbers and names of those who have so far either paid admission of guilt fines or been taken to court. “I do not have that information off hand,” he said.
For the past few weeks, the Diamond and Narcotics Squad (DNS) has been investigating more than 100 suspects, including Asian businessmen, police officers and labour consultants, who are believed to be part of an organized smuggling ring that had been trafficking illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan into Botswana.
The police operation is understood to have broken a number of organized cells that had been using Botswana as a destination and transit for trafficked persons.
Batshu this week told The Sunday Standard that since the police operation, the numbers of trafficked people coming into Botswana had lessened.
Last week the Botswana police service intercepted three at the airport and investigations led them to an Asian investor in Botswana who was found hiding in Mochudi.