Date: Tuesday, 10 October 2023
Two police officers have been arrested after their vehicle was intercepted while ferrying 13 illegal immigrants in Lokichar, Turkana county.
The vehicle was carrying eight Ethiopians, four Eritreans and a Sudanese man.
Police said the driver and his colleague were armed with AK-47 rifles at the time of their arrest. They were disarmed and detained.
All the aliens were also detained ahead of arraignment and possible repatriation, police said.
They said they had crossed from Ethiopia to Kenya in Turkana and were promised to be ferried to Kitale.
The officers were disarmed of their rifles loaded with three magazines with 100 bullets each. They have been detained.
This is the latest case in which aliens from those countries have been detained in Kenya while in transit.
The group said they were headed to South Africa, seeking greener pastures.
They changed their usual route from Ethiopian border.
Police said most of the aliens use the Moyale route as they head to South Africa and Middle East, oblivious of the dangers ahead.
Tens of aliens are often arrested in various places in the country as they wait to be moved to their next destinations.
Police and immigration officials have deplored increased cases of Ethiopian aliens nabbed in the country while in transit.
Officials from the Transnational Organised Crime Unit are conducting joint operations to deal with human smuggling.
Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while in transit and later deported.
Most of those arrested come to Kenya to seek jobs or are on transit.
What is puzzling is how the immigrants manage to evade many police roadblocks mounted from the Moyale border which they use to Nairobi.
As part of efforts to deal with the problem, an Ethiopian national was sentenced to 31 years in prison for trafficking 12 fellow Ethiopians immigrants in Nairobi.
Yibekal Gatachew, alias Adinan Mohamed Galano, was sentenced by a Kahawa West Law Court on September 7 last month following his arrest on November 3, 2021 in Ngumo estate, Nairobi.
During the arrest, the 12 Ethiopian nationals were found emaciated and chained in a room as they waited to be repatriated to a different country while headed for South Africa.
Gatachew was also sentenced for an additional year for acquiring a fake document.
This was after he was found with a fake alien identity card.
The immigrants were later repatriated to Ethiopia.