Sunday, November 18, 2018

North Coast businessman detained at airport over suspected fraudulent documents

Durban - A foreign national family returning to South Africa were held under suspicion at the King Shaka International Airport recently.
They were suspected of being in possession of fraudulent identity documents and passports.

North Coast businessman Sarfaraj Patel, his wife and two minor children, aged 8 and 5, were returning home from a holiday in Dubai when they were detained.

His family was released after three hours, while he was held overnight.

Patel was informed the following morning that he was to be deported to India later that day.

Seeking urgent relief, Patel, represented by Roy Singh Attorneys, made an application in the Durban High Court interdicting and restraining the minister and the director-general of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Emirates Airlines and immigration officer Charmaine Paulsen from further action.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Singh said the family were distraught and were considering further legal action.

“My client and his family were left deeply traumatised. We were not allowed to even meet with him.

“When we called the immigration officer to inform her that he could not be held under suspicion, we were informed he would be deported. We had to bring the application interdicting all further actions.”

He said the matter needed to be investigated before any rash decisions.

Patel has been living in South Africa for 20 years and his daughter and son were born in the country.

King Shaka International Airport spokesperson Colin Naidoo said: “As the Airport we are aware of the certain protocol and procedures conducted by the DHA and we have created an infrastructure enabling them to perform their duties.”

Department of Home Affairs national spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said that Patel had been declared inadmissible at the airport due to suspected fraudulent Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) and not a fraudulent identity document and passport.
18/11/18 Nadia Khan/The Post/IOL
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