Immigration officers last week intercepted three foreign nationals believed to be from Iraq after they found them in possession of different sets of travel documents, each with different identity details.
The three, Deror Elim, Seerwan Khalid and Deror Esav who could not be positively identified as a result of the conflicting details they were found with are being represented by Jeremiah Bhamu, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
They are in remand prison pending bail applications but their lawyer is demanding that they be released and all charges against them be dropped as they were not formally charged by the officers who arrested them, a prerequisite enshrined in the Constitution.
The trio had entered the country using Israeli passport but were found in possession of Iraq travel documents bearing different particulars but same photo on both passports.
Elim, Khalid and Esav were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Barbra Mateko charged with violating the Immigration Act.
Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on March 18, the three entered the country using Israeli passports and were each granted a thirty day Zimbabwean Holiday Visa.
He said on April 3 and before the expiry of their holiday visas, Elim, Khalid and Esav proceeded to Robert Mugabe International Airport intending to exit the country.
Mutizirwa told the court that the trio allegedly produced Israeli passports.
During checkout, they were searched by alert Immigration Department officials who discovered that each was in possession of Iraqi passport with different particulars from the Israeli passports but displaying same photo on both passports.
“This raised suspicion of accused person’s true nationality and authenticity of the recovered passports,” Mutizirwa told the court.
He added that Immigration officials conducted investigations and discovered that the trio illegally secured Israeli passports from an agent in Iraq leading to their arrest.