By LUCY PHIRI
A senior Immigration officer has told Lusaka magistrate Sylvia Munyinya that Valden Findley, a Lusaka business executive possessed four passports which were valid and active.
Mr. Frank Michello, 46, a senior immigration under risk management and compliance unit at Immigration headquarters submitted that there was a forged stamp endorsement on passport number ZP 032978 which belonged to Findlay.
Mr. Michello was testifying in a matter in which Findlay is charged with two counts of holding more than one passport and found with endorsements of forged immigration stamps.
He said the officers at Mwami boarder denied giving the stamp to Findlay and could not state clearly where he got the passport.
“On September, 28 2022, I was at the office and I was called by my supervisor who gave me four passport numbers namely ZP 009665, ZP 013259, ZP 021382 and ZP 032978. Having been given four passport numbers she told me to verify to whether they were valid passports and also to whom the passport were issued,” he Said.
Mr. Michelo testified that after the instructions by his supervisor, he went on his computer and used the system called Zambia regulations management and started investigating the passports one by one.
He narrated that the first passport number zp009665 was issued in 2012 and it was expiring in October 2022 and was issued by Findlay.
“Second passport zp013259 was issued in 2014 still valid up to 2024 issued by Findley. Third passport ZP 021382 was issued in 2017 still valid up to 2027 also belonged to him and last passport were ZP 032178 was issued in 2019 valid up to 2029,” he said.
Mr. Michelo submitted that after he found the four passports he was instructed by his supervisor to retrieve the passports that was in his possession.
He also submitted that he needed to investigate how the passport where issued seeing that they were all valid at the time.
“I went to Findlay residence in state lodge and was not allowed in by the security guard. The following day on September 29, my supervisor informed me that Findley will be appearing at the Anti-Corruption Commission ACC and I should take advantage and apprehend him,” he said.
He further told the court that he found Findley at ACC and apprehended him and ordered him to lead them to his house where they could search his house for the passports.
He said he got two passports from his house and he promised to bring the other rest to the office.
“I questioned why he was in possession for holding more than one passport and also where we got that stamp on his passport, he gave the remarks which were not satisfactory and at that point I made up my mind to charge him with two counts and one with the offense of holding more than one passport contrary to the laws of Zambia and a person being found with a forged stamp contrary to the immigration act,” he said.
Meanwhile, Findley has asked the court to grant him an application to travel abroad for medical attention.
Findley through his Lawyer Mr. Jonas Zimba said he has a severe heart condition which needed urgent medical attention outside the country.
“The ruling of the court previously when we made an application was to the effect that the court cannot order a release of an exhibit which is not before court, but now the passport is tendered and before the court. The passport was taken from the accused upon apprehension,” Mr. Zimba said.
He submitted that the medical report was submitted and showed critical condition of angina pectoris.
The State did not object to the matter stating that the accused should present certified and photocopy of the passport.
The court set May 26, for ruling.
It is alleged It is alleged, in count one, that Findlay on October 3, 2022, in Lusaka, did acquire a Zambian passport number ZP021382, purporting to have lost a Zambian passport number ZP013259, contrary to the fact.
In the second count, it is alleged that on the same date, Findlay was found in possession of endorsements of forged immigration stamps for Mwami immigration border control in his passport number ZP032178, purporting that it was officially endorsed when in fact not.