Zimbabwe: American National Fined for Escaping From Lawful Custody

A 50-year-old American national has been fined US$300 after he was found guilty of contravening the Immigration Act and escaping from lawful custody.

Austin Ray was facing two counts of contravening the Immigration Act and escaping from lawful custody when he appeared before Harare Magistrate Mrs Ruth Moyo.

Ray is from the United States of America and is a holder of an American passport number A07061933.

The State’s case was that on February 19, Ray arrived at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Harare, aboard Airlink flight number 42104.

Upon his arrival at the immigration checkpoint, the accused tendered his American passport to an immigration officer intending to apply for a holiday visa.

After perusal of the passport, it was discovered that the accused was issued with a notice to visitor, to leave the country on or before February 7, 2024.

The court heard that Ray did not have written authorisation to enter the country from the Minister as required.

As a result, Ray was denied entry and was placed in the Immigration temporary holding cells pending deportation.

On the same date, Ray then made his way into the country illegally, without a valid permit.

On another count, Ray escaped from lawful custody at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

The court heard that he was refused entry into Zimbabwe by immigration officials after failing to meet the requirements.

Ray was placed in a temporary holding facility at the airport pending deportation, he tempered with the locking system of the holding cell and made his way into the country thereby escaping from lawful custody.