AN AMERICAN national has been fined US$300 for escaping lawful custody and entering the country illegally.

Austin Ray (50) appeared before magistrate Ruth Moyo facing two counts of contravening the Immigration Act and escaping from custody.

State prosecutor Nomsa Kangara said on February 19, 2024 at around 1230 hours, Ray arrived at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Harare on an Airlink flight.

When he got to the immigration checkpoint, the accused tendered his American passport to an immigration officer intending to apply for a holiday visa.

Court documents state that Ray did not, however, have a written authorisation from the minister to enter the country as required. As a result, Ray was denied entry and was placed in the Immigration temporary holding cells pending deportation.

It is alleged that Ray escaped from lawful custody at the airport and entered the country illegally before his arrest.

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