Police nab 24 illegal immigrants at a bush in Isiolo

Twenty-four immigrants were yesterday arrested for being in the country illegally in Merti, Isiolo County.

Police said the 18 Ethiopians and six Eritreans were arrested from a bush in an operation by a team of detectives.

The immigrants were being driven through a bush from Moyale to Nairobi to avoid being detected when police intercepted a car that had them.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said the driver of the vehicle that had the aliens managed to escape in the confusion.

Those nabbed are expected in court on Tuesday, police said.

Officials from the Transnational Organized Crime are conducting joint operations to deal with the issue of human smuggling.

This is the latest operation targeting foreigners who are on transit. Most of the arrested are from Ethiopia.

Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit and later deported. Most of those arrested come to Kenya 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 and women from Ethiopia finding their way into South Africa through Kenya in search of employment.

Last month, police rescued nine male victims of human smuggling from a house in Kasarani area. The Ethiopian nationals aged between 20 and 36 told police they were headed for South Africa for jobs.

A Kenyan who was hosting them was arrested.

On March 30, police rescued eight Eritreans while being smuggled through Kenya to Asia.

The victims aged between 17 and 31 are believed to be victims of human trafficking, police said.

The eight were rescued after the detectives managed to intercept a vehicle, which they being ferried in at Wamba Junction in Isiolo County.

This came two days after another suspected human trafficking ring was busted in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

At least 25 Burundians were rescued and three Kenyan women arrested. The victims aged between 24 to 33 years were apparently held hostage pending transit to Asian countries including Thailand.

Last week, 33 Nigerians were arrested in Nairobi for being in the country illegally.

The men were arrested in Kasarani area where they had been staying after arriving at diverse dates posing as students.

Police said they were arrested by anti-narcotics detectives who were pursuing leads on an incident in which drugs are being sent from Nairobi to others parts of the world.

This came a year after 25 Nigerians were arrested in Kasarani area in an operation for being in the country illegally. They were all deported.

Last August, 19 other Nigerians were arrested in Umoja, Kasarani and Roysambu areas on allegations of being involved in electronic scams targeting social media users.

Police say most of these suspects arrive in Nairobi posing as students.

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MertiIsiolo CountyIllegal immigrants