Friday, July 12, 2024
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Corruption Crackdown at Malawi’s Immigration Department: ACB Arrests 8 over Illicit Passport Schemes

Acting ACB Director General, Hilary Chilomba

 

In a sweeping anti-corruption operation, the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested six immigration officers and two civilians over alleged corrupt practices in the issuance of passports at the Lilongwe office of the Immigration Department.

The arrests come as the government intensifies its efforts to root out graft and restore integrity within the state’s administrative machinery.

ACB’s acting Director General, Hilary Chilomba, confirmed the arrests but refrained from disclosing the names of the suspects. He stated that the ACB had conducted thorough investigations into the alleged corrupt practices at the Lilongwe immigration office.

According to Chilomba, the investigation revealed that individuals were required to pay an additional K200,000 on top of the standard K50,000 passport fee in order to access the coveted travel document. This illicit arrangement had effectively transformed corruption and passport issuance into a “married couple” within the department.

Furthermore, the ACB’s crackdown uncovered the staggering sums of money being amassed through these corrupt practices from the poor people who were seeking passports. One of the suspects was found in possession of K2.5 million, suspected to have been received from at least 10 passport-seeking applicants.

Among those arrested is an inspector stationed at the Lilongwe immigration office, underscoring the depth of the problem within the department’s leadership.

Chilomba emphasized that the investigations are ongoing and will extend to other Immigration offices across the country, signaling the ACB’s determination to leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of rooting out corruption.

The decisive action taken by the ACB demonstrates a resolute commitment to upholding transparency, accountability, and the rule of law in Malawi. As the investigation progresses, the public eagerly awaits the outcome and the potential for further arrests and prosecutions of those involved in the illicit passport schemes.

This crackdown on corruption within the Immigration Department is a critical step in restoring public trust and ensuring that government services are accessible to all citizens without the burden of bribery.

Editor In-Chief
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