Police in Nakuru on Tuesday arrested a woman and rescued over 20 victims after busting a begging syndicate that used disabled foreigners as beggars.
The beggars, whom the officers established were from Tanzania, were arrested at a house in Fire estate within Nakuru town.
Ms Mary Mong’are, the owner of the house who is suspected to be behind the business, was arrested during the crack down.
Nakuru East Deputy County Commissioner Herman Shambi said Ms Mong’are was the one coordinating the begging business. She is said to have been housing and feeding the disabled persons.
“The woman has employed people who transport the beggars to strategic points within the town. She also collects the money donated to the beggars,” said Mr Shambi.
The suspects were on Wednesday charged by a Nakuru court with being in the country illegally.
One of the suspects said he was a pupil at Kileleni Primary School in Tanzania.
In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Josephat Kalo pardoned the beggars and ordered for their immediate repatriation to their country of origin.
Ms Monga’re was charged with 30 counts relating to smuggling and harbouring illegal foreigners.
According to the charge sheet, Ms Mong’are had engaged in smuggling of human beings from Tanzania and harbouring them without having permits from the immigration department.
She, however, denied the charges and was freed on a Sh3 million bond with surety of similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh1.5 million.
Mr Shambi condemned the act which, he described as inhuman and unethical.
“It is so inhuman to use the disability of another human being to enrich yourself. The conditions in which the woman had kept the individuals was not conducive,” said the judge.
Nakuru County acting chief executive member for Youth Sports and Social Services Peter Ketyenya noted that the influx of beggars in Nakuru town had grown.
Dr Ketyenya said the county government would liaise with the national government to work find ways of economically empowering beggars.
“As a county we have already initiated programmes aimed at assisting the beggars engage in some income generating activities that will see them move out of the streets,” said Dr Ketyenya.