67 Pakistani nationals turned back at OR Tambo airport after failing immigration test
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday announced that 67 Pakistani nationals had been intercepted at the OR Tambo International Airport and sent back to their country after failing to comply with South Africa's immigration laws.
In a statement, the department said the group had failed an immigration test they were subjected to shortly after landing in South Africa.
They had arrived on board a flight carrying 268 passengers from Dubai.
“They have been sent back to Pakistan — at their own cost,” the department said.
Elaborating, Motsoaledi said: “This is a result of a sting operation that was put together after observing certain trends that were suspicious and did not make sense.”
The sting operation was conducted by home affairs, the SA Counter Corruption Branch, Hawks, state security agency officials and border management authority.
“They were interviewed by immigration officers and were asked where they were 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,” Motsoaledi said.
Among the questions they battled to answer was how long their visas entitled them to be in the country.
“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.
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