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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Friday 22 March 2019

Seized SA passport linked to 'White Widow'

Fifteen unused South African passports, some containing pictures of South Africans on an international terrorist watch list, have been seized from an al-Shabab courier in Tanzania. A crime intelligence source told The Times that at least one of the passports, some of which had visas for European countries, contains a photograph that could be that of international terror fugitive Samantha Lewthwaite, the so-called 'White Widow'. The passports were seized from a man believed to have dual South African and Tanzanian citizenship. The source reportedly said it was understood that the suspect was due to deliver the passports to another al-Shabab operative when he was arrested. Officers from South Africa's Hawks' crime-fighting unit and State Security Agency were dispatched to Dar es Salaam after the man was detained. Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi refused to comment on the charges the suspect faces or whether he would be extradited to South Africa. The report notes that Lewthwaite, a UK citizen, lived in South Africa between 2009 and 2011 and fled the country on a fake South African passport.