The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent four foreigners back to their countries after detecting a fraud in their travelling and citizenship document.
Three Pakistani men and one Bangladeshi have been sent packing this week after the ministry noticed fraudulent passport and residence permit stamps this week. This deportation follows an apprehension of five foreigners who were detained and were released on M4000 bail last week.
The minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Lestsosa told the press on Tuesday that they perceived this fraudulent act after the ministry rolled sleeves on their operation to curb trafficking in persons.
He said the human trafficking offense has already ruined the country relationships with the United States of America on AGOA.
He stated that they reached the decision of sending them back to their countries of origin since the court became merciful to grant some these con artists bail as that will enable criminals to come in the country.
â€œThis past Sunday we met two which we send packing, the stamps from their documents also proved to be forged. It looks like they have a way to make them and we will find out on how they make them.
â€œOn Monday we also arrested two, two Pakistani and one is a Bangladesh. We made a decision that we donâ€™t take them to court because we have realized that it does not as they are given M4000 bail. It says that even those are planning to come, will easily make fake stamps and documents and preserve M4000 in their pockets for bail and continue with their planned business.
â€œSo we decided to send them back to their country of origin. What we have to do is to erase the fake stamps in their documents showing that they are granted residence permit for two years. This means they have to go back to their homes and will never come back,â€ he said.
â€œAmong this four only three got into the flight today, all these people said they are here for business, when you are a businessman, the stamp has to indicate on how long you are going to stay in Lesotho with what kind of a business one is going to make.
â€œWhen we started getting deep into this issue we decided to visit their businesses and we didnâ€™t find any kind of businesses. There is a remaining one (Bangladeshi) that will departure tomorrow (Wednesday) his problem was a connection of flights, otherwise he could have featured in todayâ€™s living flight,â€ he said.
â€œWe have discovered that many people get in the Lesotho illegally; the stamps on their residence permit and their passports of origin are fraudulent. Last week we apprehended five people who were taken to the police station then went to court, they were given bail.
â€œWhen one is granted bail, it means that they have to wait for their trial without being taken to the maximum prison or police cell; they wait for it while still living in the villages. Our main concern is that they donâ€™t even have to be in the country since their passports and residence permits are proven to be fake. They were given 4000 bail,â€ he said,
He said the crime is serious and need urgent attention in order to salvage from being hideout for thieves.
â€œThe Bangladeshi passport and residence permit has many stamps and when asked why it has these many stamps, he said he was ordered by some in Pretoria too submit his documents and was returned after two weeks indicating that he has a business in Lesotho,â€ he said.
â€œThis issue is very broad and serious as the word may spell. It raises a beckoning question of what kind of green pastures does these people see in the country while thousands of Basotho cross boarders to the neighboring country in search for green pastures,â€ he said adding that the ministry realized that some of the foreigners get to South Africa through Lesotho.
â€œWe have also realized that Lesotho is not a destination for some of these people but South Africa because when one land in OR Tambo and indicate that they are going to South Africa, they are strongly searched and checked rather than when they say they going to Lesotho in order to dodge being checked so that they make a return to South Africa in their own ways.
He continued that, â€œThis will cause a problem for us and sour relationship with our neighbors because they will take us as a hideout of thieves, we are salvaging our country.
â€œWe wonder what of businessmen struggle even to return to their country.
â€œTrafficking in persons has become a popular thing lately. Human trafficking has caused the United States of America assist us on AGOA to withhold their help as they have conditions and one of them is this one of human trafficking.
â€œIn our battle against trafficking in persons, we earmarked the hotspots that we thought will make us vulnerable, we realized that this offence is done by people from outside the country, even though they look like they have a good work relationship with Basotho, one would realise that the foreigners have the upper hand. â€œWe then thought about a way to stop this from happening, it is a known fact that they (foreigners) will have to pass through the boarders and we quickly planned on how to fortify our boarders. It is not easy for people to sneak through the illegal boarders because for one to go through such boarders will first have to pass through South Africa and that will make things difficult for them as they will have to be checked. We suspect that people get in the country through the illegal boarders although with low rate,â€ said.