Detained Bangladeshi man disappears

Detained Bangladeshi man disappears

MASERU-A Bangladeshi man who was arrested and held in a holding cell at Moshoeshoe I International Airport has disappeared, Home Affairs Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa has said.

Letsosa told a press conference yesterday that the Bangladeshi had entered the Kingdom with travel documents bearing Lesotho’s fake stamps.
Letsosa said the Bangladeshi had been locked in the cell, which makes one wonder how he escaped.
He said the ministry has already reported the matter to the police so that they can help search for him.
“We are currently looking for him now and need to be helped to search for him,” Letsosa said.

He said another Bangladeshi national was arrested on Monday “and he is now in police custody”.
The Bangladeshi disappeared barely three weeks after a Pakistani went missing after being arrested for entering Lesotho using fraudulent documents.
The Pakistani has not been found.
Letsosa said so far 19 foreigners have been deported back to their countries.

He said on November 13 they deported one Pakistan national with fraudulent stamps.
He said two days later the man appeared before court.
A day later, “one Bangladesh national and two Pakistanis were taken to court” for entering the Kingdom illegally and being in possession of fraudulent documents.

He said on November 22 they again took to court another Pakistan national.
On November 24 they again took to court another Pakistani for the same crimes.
Letsosa said on November 26 they arrested a Kenyan national and deported him back to his home country while on the 28th of November three other Kenyans were also deported back to Kenya.

He said on November 30 three Pakistanis and one Bangladeshi were deported back to their countries.
He also said on December 7 an Ethiopian was deported while on the 10th a Cameroonian was also deported.
He said they have made progress in fighting the trafficking in persons adding that parliament has already passed the anti-trafficking in person’s law to deal with the crisis.

Letsosa said they are in process of fine-tuning strategies to combat the trafficking in persons.
“The strategy has the issue of sensitising the nation about the sale of humans and its dangers,” he said.
The ministry’s other plan is to implement the strategy to regulate, monitor and evaluate the national standard operating procedure and to review the work.

“It will help with the way of approaching human trafficking and its suspects,” he said.
He said the ministry has recently finished the strategic framework and action plan on combating trafficking in persons in 2021 to 2025.
“After a short while we will call the media to brief them on the document,” he said.

He said since they started fighting human trafficking, they have deported 19 foreigners who were attempting to enter the country illegally.
He said he is currently visiting all the 10 districts trying to find out if the foreigners have necessary documentation adding that he has found out that most of them are here illegally.
He said some of them have entered the country as visitors and were given 30 days but never returned to their homes.

“I met them at Qacha’s Nek and other places.”
He said some of the foreigners do not have passports and told him that “their big boss had taken them,” which is a sign that they could have been victims of trafficking.

He added that they are surprised that the foreigners have their big bosses who use them after helping them to enter the country.
“You will be surprised why they are poor yet they are managers,” he said.
Letsosa said some of the foreigners have claimed to be investors yet they run small businesses.

Nkheli Liphoto

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