By PASSY HAACHIZO -
THIRTY-THREE Ethiopians have been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for human trafficking.
Along with the Ethiopians, were a Zambian and a Zimbabwean, who have been fined K36,000 each or face two years imprisonment with hard labour in default.
Kabwe High Court judge, Dominic Sichinga slapped the sentence after finding them guilty of smuggling of persons contrary the anti-Human Trafficking Act.
Tobias Tumbela, a Zambian and Aron Samuel, Zimbabwean, as well as the Ethiopians participated in smuggling or consent to being smuggled of the 33, between November 27, 2014 and December 4, 2014.
The Ethiopians were smuggled into Zambia before they were intercepted in Serenje, Central Province, after they were found to have no immigration permits or lawful authority to enter the country.
Samuel and Tumbela had also been slapped with a separate charge of aiding illegal immigrants and making them stay in Zambia, but will serve the sentences concurrently.
Additionally, Samuel being a Zimbabwean national also faced an additional charge of unlawful entry into Zambia.
Before the sentencing of the group Bridget Pizo from the Legal Aid informed Justice Sichinga that the team also comprised two juveniles.
“There are also two juveniles whose names are not appearing on this list and another of their colleague died during this period that they were in detention,” she said.
A Benz truck registration number ACZ 1191, which was used to unlawfully facilitate the movement of the immigrants was forfeited to the State.