Kenya arrests wanted human trafficking suspect John Habeta

John Habeta, 53, will stand trial in Netherlands. [File, Standard]


Kenya has arrested wanted human trafficking suspect John Habeta, a 53-year-old Dutch-Eritrean national accused of smuggling Africans to Europe.

Habeta, who was extradited to Netherlands, will face trial in the European nation.

The Directorate of Criminal (DCI) says Habeta had been on the run for four years.

According to the DCI, the suspect was wanted for operating an international human trafficking syndicate.

“He was arrested in Nairobi, where he had been hiding for an unspecified period,” said the DCI in a statement on Twitter on Monday, January 3.

“He is linked to at least four different operations where groups of Eritrean nationals were smuggled into Europe through Asia. Immediately after his arrest, he was extradited to the Netherlands on orders from the Ministry of Interior, after the Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, declared his presence in the country as contrary to the county’s national interests,” said the DCI.

Habeta was arrested following concerted efforts by the DCI and Interpol.

“Kenya is not a safe haven for international fugitives,” said the investigative agency.

Sources told The Standard that Habeta was arrested on December 16, 2021, and was extradited a week later, on December 25.