153 foreign nationals arrested in Korsten, Port Elizabeth

Malawian nationals were arrested in the two buildings, one of which is located in Perl Road and the other in Cottrell Street

A joint operation in Port Elizabeth led to the arrest of 153 suspected illegal immigrants in Korsten
A joint operation in Port Elizabeth led to the arrest of 153 suspected illegal immigrants in Korsten
Image: Gareth Wilson

More than 150 undocumented Malawian nationals were arrested during a raid of two buildings in Korsten on Tuesday afternoon.

This as a result of an ongoing intelligence operation between the department of home affairs, South African Police Service and Metro Police in the Bay.

Home affairs immigration unit assistant director  Luyanda Mzalisi said 153 foreign nationals were arrested in the buildings, one of which is located in Perl Road and the other in Cottrell Street.

"Over an extended period of time, we have received various tip-offs and information regarding undocumented foreign nationals particularly in the Korsten area," Mzalisi said.

"After scrutinizing the information we had received we conducted the raids on two homes in the area where 153 people were arrested. It would seem the majority of the foreign nationals are working at the various stores in Korsten."

Mzalisi said more raids would follow in the area as they had received information on several other houses being occupied by undocumented foreign nationals.

According to police, the eight-hour raid was spearheaded by the department of home affairs and began  at 4am.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said search warrants were originally attained for five buildings in the Korsten area but only two were searched.

“The warrants were for the search of drugs and firearms. However,  due to this area housing several foreign nationals, home affairs also formed part of the operation. Some of these buildings had already been identified by  home affairs officials who wanted us to assist them.

"The other three were not yet searched,” she said.

Naidu said that no drugs or firearms were found.

Mzalisi said the Malawian men and women would appear in the Gelvandale Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

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