• The latest group of at least 49 Ethiopian nationals were nabbed in two estates in Nairobi as they were being smuggled to South Africa on November 2
• The first group of 31 was found in a house in Komarock as they waited for their smuggler to move them
Security agencies are concerned about the rising numbers of Ethiopians being nabbed in separate parts of the country while on transit to other countries.
Most or all of those being nabbed lack immigration papers to enable them to move to their intended destinations, police said, adding some stations are still holding the immigrants for weeks.
“Some stations are suffering because of the numbers they get. It is a burden even in feeding and communicating with them,” said one officer aware of the dire situation.
The official called for urgent measures to address the menace, saying most of the immigrants are defrauded and confined in deplorable conditions while waiting to be moved.
The latest group of at least 49 Ethiopian nationals were nabbed in two estates in Nairobi as they were being smuggled to South Africa on November 2.
The first group of 31 was found in a house in Komarock as they awaited their smuggler to move them.
The group, aged between 14 and 45, was found in a maisonette that they shared for the past week.
They were arrested on Thursday evening and taken to the Kayole police station, pending arraignment and repatriation to their country.
The second group of 18 Ethiopians was found in a house in John Saga area, Huruma.
They told police through an interpreter they were headed for South Africa.
Police said they were all aged between 15 and 35 and shared a single room.
The smugglers of the groups were missing and police say they are looking for them.
These are the latest in a series of arrests to be made on Ethiopians.
The group told police they had not eaten for days and were on their way to South Africa.
Tens of Ethiopians are smuggled in a worrying trend, officials say.
According to police, most of the aliens from Ethiopia use the Moyale route and try their luck as they head to South Africa and Middle East, oblivious of the dangers ahead.
Tens of the aliens are usually arrested in various places in the country as they wait to be moved to their next destinations.
Officials from the Transnational Organised Crime are conducting joint operations to deal with the issue of human smuggling.
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 get to Nairobi as they travel in groups.
There are more than 20 roadblocks on the stretch, which raises questions about the seriousness of the security agents in taming the trend.
As part of efforts to deal with the menace, an Ethiopian national was sentenced to 31 years in prison for trafficking 12 fellow Ethiopian immigrants in Nairobi.
Yibekal Gatachew, alias Adinan Galano, was sentenced by a Kahawa West law court on September 7 following his arrest on November 3, 2021 in Ngumo estate, Nairobi.
Most of those nabbed are usually repatriated to their country, police and immigration officials say.