• Mavoko Principal Magistrate Eunice Kimaiyo on Friday ruled that the 79 Ethiopians be repatriated by next Thursday as had been requested by the prosecution.
• The 82 suspects were arrested in Syokimau estate within Athi River East subcounty.
A Mavoko law court has ordered the repatriation of 79 out of 82 aliens who were arrested in Athi River, Machakos county last Saturday.
Mavoko Principal Magistrate Eunice Kimaiyo on Friday ruled that the 79 Ethiopians be repatriated by next Thursday as had been requested by the prosecution.
The court, however, granted the investigating officer six more days to hold three other suspects pending interviews by the Refugee Affairs after it heard that the trio claimed that they are Ethiopians, yet they are not.
The prosecution told the court that the three were Eritreans.
"Seventy nine suspects will be taken back to county of their origin. The other three will be interviewed by Refugee Affairs and report filed. The case will be mentioned on Thursday, September 7,” Kimaiyo ordered.
The 82 suspects had been reproduced in court on Friday after police were earlier granted seven more days to hold them.
They had been arrested in Syokimau estate within Athi River East subcounty. The suspects never took plea.
They included 71 male adults and juveniles alongside 11 others who presented themselves to the police last Sunday.
They appeared before Kimaiyo on August 28 who directed that all the suspects be detained at Mavoko police station until September 4, 2023, when they will be produced in the same court for a mention.
The suspects were, however, all reproduced in court on September 1.
Kimaiyo had granted police seven days following a miscellaneous application made by the prosecution seeking more time to liaise with the Ethiopian Embassy for purposes of the suspects’ repatriation.
The aliens were never charged but treated as victims of human trafficking.
The granted days were also to give the investigating officer time to trace the owner of the house from which the suspects reportedly broke loose before they were nabbed.
The court had hoped that the landlord would be traced before repatriation orders were given.
The 71 Ethiopians were arrested after they were found loitering at Magorofani area off Mwananchi Road in Syokimau.
They included 38 male adults and 33 male juveniles.
A police boss said his officers responded after being tipped by members of the public leading to the arrests.
He explained that it was suspected that the 71 males were unlawfully confined in a residential house whose owner was yet to be established.
"The suspects are said to have allegedly escaped from the house after they broke the main door and window panes then ended up loitering before the arrest," he said.