Kenyans warned against international crime syndicate luring them to jobs abroad

Students at Twinspur College at Pema Estate in Nakuru County. They were getting trained before seeking employment in Saudi Arabia. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the department of Diaspora has warned Kenyans seeking greener pastures abroad to exercise caution.

The Ministry says it has unraveled a web of international crime targeting unsuspecting job seekers, in the pretext of offering lucrative jobs.

"Kenyans, in their quest of securing employment abroad, have fallen victim to human traffickers who recruit them on the pretext of getting them formal employment and lucrative opportunities abroad, of late ASEAN region, has become a choice destination," the Director Diaspora and Consular Affairs Ambassador Washington Oloo said in a statement Friday.

Oloo said that the Ministry is increasingly alarmed by numerous calls from distressed Kenyans, who realise a little too late that they have fallen victim to an international human trafficking syndicate.

"The Ministry wishes to warn the public about this web of international crime and cautions potential victims to be vigilant and avoid jumping into some of the seemingly lucrative job opportunities abroad without proper due diligence," Amb Oloo stated.

It has emerged that rogue agents lure desperate Kenyans with the promise of better jobs in gulf countries, who then result to selling family land and other assets to secure Visas and meet the costs of travel and hotel accommodation. The victims are then issued with a 90-day visa based on the information provided by the said agents.

"However, immediately after the victims depart, the return tickets are canceled leaving them at the mercy of local networks who traffic them to other destinations. The victims are 'decoyed to "textile factories" to engage in criminal activities, under the watchful eyes of armed men and owners of the "factories". Their passports are normally confiscated and remain under the custody of the criminal gang," the Ministry revealed.

The Ministry last month aided the return of Diana Chepkemoi, a girl who had been detained in Saudi Arabia by her employer, and 10 others. Fifty other Kenyans have also been recently rescued.