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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Over 60 Pakistanis intercepted after trying to enter SA illegally from Dubai

The Pakistani national were denied entry into South Africa, according to Home Affairs.

Home Affairs officials have intercepted 67 Pakistani nationals after they tried to enter South Africa illegally via the OR Tambo International Airport.

The Pakistanis with questionable visas boarded a flight of 268 passengers that departed for South Africa from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On Sunday, a team comprising of the Department of Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch, the Hawks, the State Security Agency and the Border Management Authority (BMA) apprehended the Pakistani nationals during a string operation.

Pakistanis denied entry

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has welcomed the move to stop the Pakistani’s from entering the country without complying with immigration laws.

“These Pakistanis were denied entry into South Africa after they failed the immigration test, which included questions how long their visas entitled them to be in the country. They have been sent back to Pakistan – at their own cost.

“This is a result of a sting operation that was put together after observing certain trends that were suspicious and did not make sense,” Motsoaledi said.

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Motsoaledi said the Pakistanis were questioned by authorities about their visit to South Africa.

“They were asked about where they going and about the purpose of being in South Africa and where they were going to stay given that they were coming here for the first time. They provided conflicting evidence like giving names of non-existent hotels, names of alleged relatives, some of whom did not even exist.

“Essentially, these people wanted to come to South Africa but were unable to explain where they were going and for what reason. There is no other way. They have to return to their home country. We can’t allow such people to enter the country,” said Motsoaledi.

Hotel bookings

Motsoaledi added South African hotels have also complained that there was an increase in the number of Pakistanis who book accommodation and then end up not showing up.

“This means that the hotels lose money with these dubious bookings and also on other potential visitor who is unable to book because the hotels are supposed to be full.”

He said the department will be more vigilant.

“We are extremely worried by his new trend and we have noticed that the newly acquired eVisa system, which is meant to facilitate easier entry into the country by tourists, is being seriously abused by some nationals. We will never allow this,” said Motsoaledi.

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