By Hastings Chibisa and Brian Chinguwo
A cane of worms at the department of Immigration and Citizenship Services under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has been uncovered by our investigative team in connection with what has been discovered to be a long standing syndicate in which fake permits are being issued for foreign nationals with the ones for Indian nationals topping the list.
The syndicate reveals the existence of Indian middlemen who are well connected with immigration top officials and are using those connections in dealing with the Department of Immigration to issue fake residential and work permits for their fellow Indians.
Through the syndicate, scores of Indian nationals have found their way into the country conducting businesses in cities and towns while many more are working for their fellow Indians.
In the course of the in-depth investigation, in Blantyre and Limbe, our reporters came across over 60 Indians who, by the help of Indian middlemen, managed to obtain fake residential permit within a period of two weeks when in normal circumstances one is required to stay in the country for about eight years before one is allowed to apply for a permit.
“It is an established syndicate which fulfills the adage that says, money talks and that the face of banknote is a solution to everything,” explained one of the Indian men who underwent the same process and now feels safe after his middleman has been coming to ask for more money even though the he had paid for the permit in full.
The other foreign nationals sharing the slice of the syndicate are Burundians, Ethiopians and Somalis.
It was also discovered that immigration officials would jump for an Indian than any other foreign national just because they are always ready to part with large sums of money in as far as they get what they want.
In 2019 alone-way up the month of July, records showed that, over 98 fake permits for Indian nationals have been issued.