At the Chifubu police station, four couples of Croatian heritage have been held on suspicion of smuggling four children of Congolese descent.
The spouses and the DRC children, who range in age from one year, three months to three years old, are thought to have reserved rooms at the Fiesta guest house in Ndola’s Kansanshi neighborhood.
The incident, according to Copperbelt commanding officer Peacewell Mweemba, is thought to have happened on Tuesday about 0:00 and was reported at the divisional criminal investigations office.
“The investigations officer received an information that there were some three white people who had booked rooms at Spree guesthouse in Kansenshi. They were seen with four young children of Congolese origin. Immediately, the regional immigration officer Mr Steward Chiyaka was informed to organise for some immigration officers to accompany police officers on investigations. The plan was to stop them at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe at the time of checking in,” he said.
According to him, immigration officers at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport were able to detain four spouses of Croatian descent and four suspected trafficked children of Congolese nationality yesterday at 12:00.
“Their particulars are as follows Damir Magic aged 44, and his wife Nadica Magic aged 45, a couple of Croatian origin. They were with their purported adopted child Beatrice – Magic (new parents name) aged 1yr and 3 months of Congo DR, Subosic Zoran aged 52 and his wife Azra Imamovic Subosic aged 41, both of Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child Mariella Kalinde- Imamovic Subosic aged 3 of Congo DR, Ladislav Persic aged 42,with his wife Aleksandr Persic aged 40, Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child Kona Asnate- Persic aged 3 and Noah Kraljevic aged 45,and his wife Ivona Kraljevic aged 36,Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child Jean Val- Kraljevic aged 3 of Congo DR,” he said.
Preliminary investigations, according to Mr. Mweemba, show that documents pertaining to the adoption of the four children who were allegedly issued by the Congolese government are not authentic. As a result, the office of the Congo DR’s consular general was contacted through the office of the region’s immigration officer, Mr. Chiyaka Steward.
“The position on the matter will soon be given, since the immigration are carrying out Investigations. The four couples have been detained at chifubu, kansenshi, central and masala police stations, with two each, while the children have been taken to Social welfare facilities to be taken care of,” he said.