The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services in collaboration with the police has arrested 19 Ethiopian nationals for illegal entry into the country.
They were arrested over the weekend in a village around Mchenga Coal Mine in Rumphi district while hiding in the house of a Malawian.
Northern Region Deputy Publicist for Immigration Francis Chitambuli has revealed that the Malawian has also been arrested for aiding illegal immigrants.
According to Chitambuli, officers received a tipoff about the illegal immigrants who had entered the country through unchartered routes.
Chitambuli has told Capital FM that the 19 were arrested during a patrol in the area and are currently being kept at Rumphi Prison.
They have since been charged with illegal entry in Malawi while the Malawian has been charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.
Immigration authorities say the practice of aiding illegal entry of foreign nationals results to the government’s losing revenue generated from various immigration services such as visa fees.
There are also fears that illegal immigrants can spread cross border diseases, as they skip screening services offered by health officials.
The development is also coming at a time the government is working on possible repatriation of some refugees from countries where peace ahs returned.