Eight passengers allegedly tried to enter South Africa on Wednesday after disembarking from a Qatar Airways flight at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport by sneaking through a series of fire prevention system tunnels.
The eight guys, four each from Bangladesh and Pakistan, did not have permits to enter South Africa; instead, they intended to use South Africa as a transit point to another country, according to News 24.
The men should have remained in an airside section of the airport upon their arrival on the Qatar Airways flight from Doha and would not have ever formally entered South Africa if they had boarded their connecting flight as scheduled.
Instead, it is claimed that the men broke into a tunnel network using a fire suppression system. According to South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, a policeman saw the men and followed them to the entrance to the tunnel.
It appeared that an insider was giving them directions and that the route had been taken numerous times because one of the men in the party was carrying a cellphone to his ear.
According to Motsoaledi, his department has noticed a rise in the number of unauthorized immigrants flying on Qatar Airways into South Africa. Lesotho or Eswatini was, until recently, a well-liked route for unauthorized migration.
According to Motsoaledi, people traffickers are now taking advantage of South Africa’s 2018 decision to no longer require transit permits.