Nairobi News


DCI warns JKIA staff over illegal human trafficking

By Hilary Kimuyu September 13th, 2023 2 min read

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has put staff at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on the spot over reports of human trafficking.

The DCI in a letter dated September 6, 2023, and addressed to the Station Manager, Qatar Airways at JKIA, Officer Commanding Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATPU) at the JKIA said staff attached to various agencies at the airport are also involved in the illegal activity.

The anti-terror unit officer further said that airport staff are facilitating the illegal movement of people across international borders through the airport.

The personnel suspected of involvement in these activities include members of the National Police Service, Kenya Airports Authority, Immigration officials, and airline employees.

“This office has noted with a lot of concern that people are being smuggled in and out of the country through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with the assistance of airport staff which include National Police Service personnel, Kenya Airport Authority personnel, airlines personnel (and) Immigration personnel,” the anti-terror unit officer said.

The ATPU also issued a stern warning, threatening legal action to anyone involved in this illicit trade.

“This serves as a warning to all agencies named to desist from the practice. Legal action will be taken on anyone caught,” the letter said.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) thousands of men, women, and children fall victim to illicit trafficking groups and smuggling of migrant syndicates and endure inhuman treatment, sexual exploitation, slave-like working conditions, and other abuse.

US State Department in its 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report noted that Kenya remains a source, transit point, and destination for people subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.

The report observed that the Kenyan government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.

The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2010 criminalized sex trafficking and labour trafficking and prescribed penalties of 30 years to life imprisonment, a fine of not less than Sh30 million, or both.

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