Eight foreign nationals were found in OR Tambo International Airport’s fire hydrant tunnel system last week. A video of the ordeal has since gone viral on social media.
The SAPS caught Eight illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan entering South Africa through an unapproved passage in the pipes at O.R Tambo International Airport,Kempton park,Johannesburg.
Updates with LolahM pic.twitter.com/KB79VtbA6B
— Vehicle Trackers (@VehicleTrackerz) June 19, 2022
The men are believed to have arrived in South Africa on an international flight. They did not require visas as they were reportedly using the airport as a transit point.
Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, said that four of the men are Bangladeshi nationals and four are Pakistani.
According to Motsoaledi, the men were making their way to the transit lounge when suddenly, they made a detour. A SAPS officer followed them and discovered that they attempted to “go through the opening of a fire hydrant” to enter South Africa illegally.
In the video, the men are seen being pulled from the tunnel by the SAPS and made to lie flat on the floor. All of them have been arrested.
Tweeps have reacted, with the general consensus being that the incident must have been an inside job. “A friend of mine was a SAPS stationed at OR Tambo and he said one of the reasons he took transfer was because some cops and home affairs officials were responsible for smuggling in foreign nationals through OR Tambo and apparently it’s a lucrative business,” said one person on Twitter.
Others are suspicious of the timing related to the SAPS’s response. “The police just knew which pipe they were going to crawl out and were waiting with a video camera. Amazing,” added one sarcastic Tweep.
Meanwhile, locals are questioning why foreigners find South Africa so appealing. “South Africa’s a beautiful country with business opportunities, as well as it being a secular and open society. Many Pakistanis leave for us for the UK, Canada, and Europe,” said another Tweep.