Friday, April 10, 2020

Canadian border jumper arrested with fake passport

A Canadian woman who three weeks ago crossed in and out of Botswana with a fake passport was recently arrested in Zeerust, South Africa, while attempting to cross back into Botswana.

Shannon Meakins, 24 and her fianc├®, Allistair MacFarlane of Johannesburg, were trying to cross the border into Botswana at Skilpadhek on June 11 when Meakins was arrested.

The pair had crossed into Botswana with the same passports, at the same border post, three weeks earlier – and they had left Botswana just as easily, MacFarlane told the South African media this week.

“And, now she’s behind bars while the crooks that stamped her passport are free. It’s just such a fraud.”

Meakins has passports from Canada and Argentine, but she has been living in South Africa for the past three years.
In March, she applied to the Department of Home Affairs in Randburg for a work permit.

She submitted her Canadian passport with the application.

MacFarlane said that Meakins wanted to go with him to Botswana last month and, because the work permit had not yet come through, she used her Argentine passport to apply at the same office for a temporary visitor’s permit.

This was the passport she had used the first time to cross into Botswana, but it landed her in trouble the second time around.

MacFarlane’s initial efforts to get her Canadian passport from Randburg to the magistrate in Zeerust, so that bail could be arranged, were hampered by the public service strike.

After he finally managed to get it on Friday, the visitor’s permit in the Canadian passport was also declared “a falsification”, in Zeerust.

Home Affairs spokesperson Jacky Mashapu told the South African media on Wednesday the matter was being investigated.

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