Eleven Tanzanians out of twenty one arrested over the weekend have been convicted for being in the country illegally.
Appearing before Kehancha principal magistrate Anne Karimi, the suspects pleaded guilty to the offence and begged for leniency after admitting they had booked a bus to various destinations.
They were sentenced to six months imprisonment or pay Sh30,000 fine.
Three of the suspects, after pleading guilty, were repatriated to Tanzania after the court established that they were disabled persons who were being ferried to Nairobi, Nyeri and Thika towns.
But the court released Duke Omwenga, a bus conductor and the main suspect in the trafficking saga, on a Sh100,000 cash bail after he denied charges of human trafficking pending mention of the case on February 8.
According to Kehancha subcounty police commander Cleti Kimaiyo, Omwenga conspired to traffic the foreigners to various destinations after the bus driver left for his house.
He said the Tanzanians sneaked into the country on January 24 aboard motorbikes to Kehancha town before they were intercepted by police.
“Officers acting on a tip-off from members of the public intercepted one of the motorbikes whose rider led police to a Nairobi-bound bus. They managed to arrest 11 trafficked adults, five disabled persons and two minors,” Kimaiyo said.
The bus driver and his conductor were also arrested during the swoop, but the driver was later released.
“Cases of Tanzanian nationals crossing over into the country on a job-hunting mission are on the rise as they don’t have valid documents and work permits,” Kimaiyo said.
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