Police raid house and free 31 women promised jobs abroad

Police rescued 31 women whom they believe to be victims of human trafficking syndicate from a house in Likoni, Mombasa yesterday.

Investigators revealed that the women, aged between 18 and 22, were held hostage in a house in Shelly beach, Likoni.

It is suspected they were being processed by an unidentified agent for a Middle East employment bureau to provide cheap labour overseas.

The women entered the house on Wednesday and police say the agent, who was questioned by police and freed, was housing the women in his home. By last evening, the women were still in police custody.

SEE ALSO :How lack of awareness, poverty exposes jobless Kenyans to trafficking

Likoni police chief Benjamin Rotich confirmed the rescue, saying police acting on intelligence from the public, seized the women. They were driven to Likoni Police Station and booked under OB number 74/11/04/2019.

He said the women, all from Coast - Lungalunga, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta, had been locked up in one room.

The police boss noted that all security departments were engaged in the rigorous scrutiny of the women, their documents, places of origin, their next of kin among other items.

Saturday Standard established that anti-terror police and National Intelligence Service (NIS) were among detectives who spearheaded the scrutiny.


SEE ALSO :Kenya treats trafficked people shabbily - US report

Two men were also intercepted and police say they had been hired to cook for the women.

Rotich said when police stormed the house, they found that 14 women, the first batch, had been taken by the agent for visa and passport processing.

“We had to round up the remaining 17 and take them for profiling. We called their parents and guardians who told us they have been engaging the agent to secure them jobs. We didn’t stop there, we looked for the said agent and we asked him to produce valid documents of which he did,” said the police boss.

He said young women might be lured by unscrupulous individuals in the name of giving them jobs but later end up in the hands of al-Shabaab.

Rotich dismissed earlier reports that there were five Somali women.

SEE ALSO :From Asia to Africa: Women trafficked to Kenya's Bollywood-style dance bars

He said before being released, the women would be vetted afresh and their personal details taken for future reference.

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