Alert officers uncovered one of the biggest human smuggling scams in recent years, after they intercepted the truck in Kapiri Mposhi on Saturday night.
Both Immigration Department and police confirmed the arrest yesterday.
The 48 were travelling in a Tanzanian containerised Scania-BDI truck registration number T606 and were arrested along the stretch between Mkushi and Kapiri Mposhi by a combined team of immigration and police officers.
Central Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu said officers intercepted the truck after receiving a tip from the public.
Mr Lungu said after stopping the truck, 30 Ethiopians were apprehended on the spot, while 18 others, including the driver, ran away but were quickly rounded up.
Immigration Department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said the driver of the truck, Erasto Mbilinyi, 46, a Tanzanian, was also apprehended.
Mbilinyi is alleged to have entered Zambia as a business visitor on Wednesday, September 10, 2014.
“Arrangements to move the suspected prohibited immigrants to Kabwe for further investigations are underway. This is a suspected case of human smuggling,” Mr Namati said.
Acting Central Province Permanent Secretary Ronald Sinyangwe said all the Ethiopians would be screened for Ebola as per
Mr Sinyangwe, who rushed to Kapiri Mposhi, said the suspects would go through the Ebola screening process.
“The screening does not mean that they have Ebola but we just want to be on a safe side,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Kitwe man on Saturday accidentally shot his 19-year-old female worker with an air gun in the head.
Acting police spokesperson Esther Katongo said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that police had since arrested Francis Ching’andu, 39, for accidentally shooting Elizabeth Bubala of Kwacha Township.
Ms Bubala was engaged to carry out casual jobs for Ching’andu.
Ms Katongo said the suspect owned an air gun which he used to accidently shoot the woman.
“On the material day (around 08: 00 hours on Saturday), after getting the air gun from the guards, our suspect was doing what we call a safety precaution measure (checking if the chamber had pellets). It was while he was doing so that he pulled the trigger and accidentally shot the woman on the left side of her forehead,” she said.
Ms Katongo said the woman was later rushed to Kitwe General Hospital where she was admitted with two pellets stuck in her head.
The pellets have since been removed and Ms Bubala has been discharged while Ching’andu is in police custody charged with Unlawful Wounding.