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29 Ethiopians arrested for being in Nairobi illegally

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Thu, February 8th 2018 at 09:22, Updated February 8th 2018 at 09:24 GMT +3

Police have arrested 29 Ethiopian nationals after they were found being transported in a lorry in Ruaraka area, Nairobi.

They were to get shelter in the area before leaving for South Africa where they say they would get better jobs when police arrested them on Wednesday night.

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The driver of the lorry was also arrested in the operation.

It is not clear when they left the Moyale border and how they managed to evade many roadblocks on the way. Police say an investigation has been launched to establish the movement of the aliens.

Police say they had been tipped off about the movement of the suspects in custody.

“They are under interrogation to know more about their movements. They don’t have documents to warrant their being here,” said Kasarani police boss Robinson Mboloi.

The incident is the latest in a series to be busted by police.

Last week, interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i accused some security agents of being complicit to crime in the country and cited human trafficking.

"When aliens are trafficked from Moyale to Namanga with roadblocks, how can we explain this?" he posed.

"We must adopt tough and ruthless means of dealing with this, including letting go the rogue officers compromising with the calling."

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He was reacting to such cases that have been common in the country.

Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit. Most of those arrested come here to seek for jobs or are on transit. Police and immigration officials have decried increased cases in which Ethiopian aliens are nabbed in the country while on transit to either Tanzania or South Africa.

Police and immigration officials face difficulties in dealing with the aliens because they cannot speak in Swahili and English. Cases of human smuggling have been on the rise in the region with hundreds of young men from Ethiopia finding their way into South Africa through Kenya in search of employment.

What is puzzling is how the immigrants manage to evade many police roadblocks mounted from Moyale border where they use to Nairobi. There are more than 20 roadblocks on the stretch, which raises the seriousness of the security agents to tame the practice.

Some officials say the crime happens out of collusion between security agencies and the smugglers.

For instance, four police officers attached to Mathira DCI office were arrested after they allegedly received a Sh128,000 bribe from 16 illegal Ethiopian immigrants to release them.

The immigrants were traveling from Moyale to Nairobi when the officers intercepted them in Karatina area in March 2017.

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