Police in Kenya on Thursday arrested 32 illegal Somali immigrants in the eastern county of Kitui.
Kitui County head of Criminal Investigation Officers, Shem Nyamboki, said the suspects were arrested in Mwingi when they were traveling in a truck loaded with gas cylinders and charcoal.
The Somalis said they were to be ferried to the capital Nairobi after paying some money to their traffickers.
Nyamboki said investigations are underway to find out if the crew were behind other similar cases.
“The crew who carried Somalis said they don’t know them. How can this happen. They were dangerously carried in the lorry with gas cylinders and charcoal,” Nyamboki said, adding that the Somalis will be charged in court as soon as investigations are completed.
Kenyan police have on several occasions rounded up dozens of illegal immigrants, especially from Ethiopia and Somalia, who have been discovered locked up in congested rooms in Kenyan towns and cities, but the trade continues to thrive even as many were repatriated.
The immigrants are said to be using Kenya as their transit route to South Africa or European countries. The Kenyan authorities have blamed the vastness of the region for the runaway influx of foreigners into Kenya through Moyale on Kenya-Ethiopia borders and the porous border with Somalia.
However, some refugee rights organizations and aid agencies have blamed poverty in Africa for the rising cases of human trafficking, adding that the huge supply of labour both skilled and unskilled makes them vulnerable to criminal syndicates. Enditem



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