DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — A Tanzanian court on Tuesday found 28 Tanzanians guilty of illegally migrating to South Africa and slapped each of them with a fine of 70,000 shillings (about 28 U.S. dollars).

The verdict was handed down by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam.  Delivering the ruling, Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi said all 28 accused persons pleaded guilty to having committed the offense of violating Tanzania’s immigration laws. State attorney for the Immigration Services Department Shija Sitta told the court that the 28 Tanzanians were returned to the country on Aug. 20 and were placed under custody. “Upon interrogation, the 28 Tanzanians admitted that they traveled to South Africa without any valid documents,” said the lawyer.Sitta pleaded to the court to mete out a deterrent punishment to the offenders, saying the government had spent a huge amount of money to return them by flight.