11 Indians detained in SA over illegal documents

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Johannesburg in South Africa map
Johannesburg, Jan 1: After a raid on a house in the mainly Indian suburb of Fordsburg in Johannesburg, eleven Indian nationals have been arrested for possession of illegal asylum documents.

The raid was conducted by officials of the home affairs ministry together with the South African police on Thursday, Dec 30 as part of efforts to check false documents.

Officials said that the arrested persons will be produced before court "soon".

Home affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the documents found in their possession originated from the ministry, but it was not clear how they had obtained them.

It is believed that the house that was raided served as a safe haven for illegal migrants until they received their South African identity documents and passports at huge 'fees' charged by agents working in collaboration with home affairs officials.

The raids followed the arrest of three officials of the home affairs ministry last week for their role in a Pakistani-led syndicate which specialised in getting false South Africa identity documents and passports for illegal migrants.

The son of one of the officials was also arrested after he was caught trying to burn documents found in his mother's house.

Two of the officials, Maria Moyo and Samson Mogashoa, are out on R 2,000 bail each, while Calvin Moyo and the alleged Pakistan-born syndicate kingpin Faizel Shazaad, are still in custody as investigations progress.

Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali illegal migrants are among the main ones frequently involved in illegal South Africa documentation deals.

Last year, British authorities were prompted to introduce visas for South African visitors for the first time amid concerns over false passports being used, especially by Indian and Pakistani nationals to get into Britain.

PTI

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