Border officers on the spot over illegal foreigners - Daily Nation

Immigration officers blamed for influx of illegal foreigners

Tuesday March 5 2019

Illegal immigrants

Some of the 42 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia and one US citizen appear in a Nyeri court on March 5, 2019 after they were arrested in Kiganjo and Karatina towns without proper travel documentation. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JACOB WALTER
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By STEPHEN MUNYIRI
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Immigration officers at the Kenya-Ethiopia border point in Moyale are on the spot following an upsurge of illegal immigrants from Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Police are on high alert following an influx of foreigners entering the country at Moyale since September 2018.

On Saturday and Sunday police arrested 41 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia who had crossed the border.

On Monday, police in Karatina, Nyeri County arrested 16 Ethiopians including 13 men and three women who were intercepted while on transit to Nairobi from Moyale on Sunday evening.

COLLUSION

Mathira East Sub-County Police Commander James Baraza said they suspected there was collusion between the foreigners and immigration staff at the border point since the suspects had genuine papers yet they could not explain their mission in the country.

"Some of the suspects claimed they were tourists while others claimed they were business people but they could not say their exact destination or the kind of business they were engaged in. They had the right papers which we believe were obtained illegally. We are investigating the matter and we shall get to the bottom of it," Mr Baraza said.

ARRESTED

Marsabit County Police Commander Steve Oloo said 23 foreigners were arrested in Sololo on Sunday and are currently in police custody.

“We want NIS and DCIO to investigate whether there is a syndicate going on at the Moyale Immigration office that has promoted the influx of these aliens into the country since last month,” Mr Oloo said.

He wondered how the foreigners are in possession of duly stamped documentations yet they do not meet the immigration requirements.

The police commander appealed to the immigration officers to be cautious when approving foreigners so as to avert drug peddling and human trafficking.

This comes even as a non-governmental organisation raised concerns over rising cases of human trafficking in Marsabit and other northern Kenya counties.

CONTAIN SITUATION

Mr Elema Tache, the programme manager for Strategies for Northern Development (SND) called on the government to swing into action before the alarming situation gets out of hand.

Mr Elema held that close to six children are trafficked daily from Ethiopia into Kenya.

He claimed that many households in Moyale, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera have an Ethiopian or Eritrean domestic worker.

But Mr Oloo said that police are investigating the genesis of these trends and have come up with strategies to ensure the undesignated routes that are used by the human traffickers are closed.

He called for partnership between the police, elders and communities in order to succeed in containing the emerging crime trends.

Mr Oloo warned police officers against conniving with the racketeers to perpetrate drug and human trafficking.

He said that any officer found culpable will be apprehended and charged in court in order to serve as an example to others.