Kenyan police nab 13 Ethiopian illegal immigrants

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By Chris Mgidu NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Kenyan police are on Thursday interrogating 13 Ethiopian nationals after arresting them at a residential estate in Nairobi in a security swoop.

Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome said the Ethiopians, who were arrested on Wednesday night, would be charged in court later for being in the country illegally.

Koome said the Ethiopian men had stayed in a rented house waiting to move out to South Africa, adding that major manhunt for the smuggler behind the syndicate was underway.

“We don’t know how they managed to arrive there but we are pursuing all angles in our investigations,” Koome said, noting that those arrested are to be deported to their country after court processes.

The police said they were tipped of the presence of the foreigners and that none of them could speak English or Swahili.

The Ethiopians were believed to have come in small groups and police are looking for two women behind their visit to Kenya.

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Kenyan police and immigration officials have decried increased cases in which Ethiopian nationals are nabbed in the country while on transit to either Tanzania or South Africa.

Tens of Ethiopian illegal immigrants are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit. On several occasions they have been discovered locked up in congested rooms in Kenyan towns and cities.

The Kenyan authorities have blamed the vastness of the region for the runaway influx of foreigners in to Kenya through Moyale on Kenya-Ethiopia borders.

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