LUSAKA, June 17, 2016, at least 19 Ethiopians died after suffocating in a containerized truck they were being transported in a suspected human trafficking syndicate in Chembe district in Luapula Province of Zambia.
The intercepted Zambian registered truck was transporting 95 Ethiopians with contradicting OSINT reports saying those being smuggled were Somalis. Officials on Saturday clarified that they were all Ethiopians who reportedly were heading to South Africa in search of better jobs.
Ethiopian migrants pay smugglers to transport them to South Africa.
The truck was intercepted some 20 kilometers from the Levy Mwanawasa Bridge which borders Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo whereby reportedly the deceased were bundled in the truck which was carrying bags of beans and groundnuts.
According to report by Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday, the truck was intercepted by Congolese officials after hearing some loud bang that was coming from the truck.
Congolese officials intercepted the truck after hearing some loud bang that was coming from the truck, according to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga established the incident but noted that the police were still waiting for a full report.
Incidents of human trafficking especially involving people from countries in East Africa have been on the increase in Zambia.
A number of trucks laden with suspected prohibited items have been intercepted on numerous occasions in the said country.
The bodies found in the truck and the survivors have since been handed over to Zambian authorities and transported to the Zambia consulate.