• Armed officers, regular operations and detection mechanism

Significant resources are being deployed to flush out undocumented immigrants who have been defying the authorities for months, even years. Officers from the Special Supporting Unit (SSU), armed with batons, pistols and shotguns, are mobilized. At the same time, “crackdown” operations carried out by the Passport and Immigration Office (PIO) are multiplying across the country, while a highly sophisticated mobile scanner is now used to detect, in the space of a few seconds, if a foreigner is staying in the country illegally.

Concretely, this device scans the passport, thus allowing Immigration officers to be instantly informed of the status of the foreign national, in particular whether their residence permit has expired or not. How does this electronic device work? “The mobile scanner is equipped with a digital line which provides all data relating to foreigners immediately,” we specify.

This highly sophisticated device, used during “crackdown” operations, allows the officers of the Tracking Team to save time. “Who says saving time means tracking down more foreigners who are staying in the country illegally. The device, which is very easy to handle, allows us to catalyze our research and carry out the necessary checks as quickly as possible,” says the immigration service.

Le Défi Quotidien had the opportunity to witness the putting into operation of this device, during an operation carried out in the early hours this Wednesday by the PIO Tracking Team. The operation took place around 4 a.m. in Notre-Dame and Camp La Boue, Montagne-Longue. Twenty-three foreign nationals, 18 Bangladeshis and 5 Malagasy, were arrested. They had been in the country illegally for several years. While some arrived in Mauritius with a work permit, others had a tourist visa. They are being held at the New Wing Prison in Beau-Bassin while awaiting their repatriation.

At the Immigration service, it is argued that “the hunt for illegal immigrants continues”. “Our operations definitely take on another dimension with the use of the mobile scanner. In addition, we benefit from the help of the SSU during our operations. In practice, the latter will secure the areas where operations will be carried out,” it is stated.

African illegal immigrants leave Grand-Baie

The officers of the PIO Tracking Team are faced with information according to which African nationals staying illegally in Mauritius, after entering the territory on a student visa, have left the places where they had been staying for approximately two weeks.
“They left Grand-Baie, but are still in the north of the country,” specifies the immigration service.
Around twenty African nationals, out of a total of 53 illegal immigrants, were arrested two weeks ago in Beau-Bassin and Grand-Baie during a PIO operation. The officers fear that the illegal immigrants who are still running around in the wild have alerted their compatriots that Immigration is on their trail.
According to information collected by Le Défi Quotidien, illegal African immigrants are employed in fast food chains in Grand-Baie. Why Grand-Bay? “It’s a highly frequented coastal region. Illegal immigrants know that they will have work if they live in Grand-Baie. In addition, the region is renowned for its nightlife,” we respond.

Increased vigilance at Plaisance airport

Vigilance at the counters of Plaisance SSR airport is required. It is argued that the officers received formal orders to be very vigilant, especially when women from Eastern Europe arrived in Mauritius.

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