15 foreigners arrested in Nairobi for being in the country illegally

Fifteen foreigners were Tuesday arrested in two separate police operations in Nairobi for being in the country illegally.

Police said the suspects did not have legal documents to stay in Kenya.

Nine of the aliens were Ethiopians who had arrived in Eastleigh aboard a bus that had originated Moyale town.

According to police the suspects did not have papers to warrant their being in the country.

They had apparently traveled from Moyale to Nairobi and they planned to have a short stay before connecting to South Africa for greener pastures.

Six others were arrested in Parklands area for lack of work permits. The Indians had been working at restaurants there yet they don’t have permits.

The incidents are the latest in a series to be busted by police.

In February, 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."

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 travelling from Moyale to Nairobi when the officers intercepted them in Karatina area in March 2017.