26 Ethiopians found hiding in an incomplete house in Murang’a arrested
26 Ethiopian nationals were apprehended on Monday, September 4, night in the Muthigiriri area of Kiharu constituency, Murang’a County, on suspicion of being in Kenya illegally.
The individuals were discovered holed up in an isolated residential house, prompting their arrest by law enforcement authorities.
Police officials have revealed that the arrests were carried out as part of an intelligence-led operation, and the detained individuals are currently undergoing processing for their impending court appearance.
The alarm was raised by vigilant villagers in the Kwambirwa locality, who reported the presence of a group confined within the house, receiving sustenance under the cover of darkness.
Leading the operation, Murang’a County Police Commander David Kainga disclosed that the individuals involved are young women aged between 20 and 26 years.
They were found in a three-bedroom incomplete house, with one solitary mattress on the floor.
During their interaction with the police, the Ethiopian nationals conveyed that they were en route to South Africa in search of better opportunities.
They further revealed that the person responsible for smuggling them into Kenya had mysteriously disappeared.
Authorities have confirmed the confiscation of 26 passports and 16 mobile phones from the women as part of their ongoing investigation into the matter.
The owner of the house and a watchman have been taken into custody for questioning as the authorities delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding this case.
This incident comes on the heels of a recent ruling by the Mavoko law court, which ordered the repatriation of 79 out of 82 foreign nationals, primarily Ethiopians, who were apprehended in Athi River, Machakos County.
The court upheld the prosecution’s request that these individuals be repatriated by Thursday, September 7.
The group had been taken into custody after being discovered loitering in the Magorofani area off Mwananchi Road in Syokimau. Authorities suspect that they were held unlawfully in a residential house whose owner remained unidentified.
Among those detained in Athi River were 38 adult males and 33 male juveniles. Notably, they were not subjected to criminal charges but were regarded as victims of human trafficking.
In recent years, Kenya has witnessed the periodic arrest and deportation of Ethiopian nationals who transit through the country or seek job opportunities within its borders.
Many detained people are driven by the quest for employment or are in transit to other destinations.