132 Ethiopians arrested in Kenya for illegal entry

Two Kenyans were also arrested during the operation on accusations of being in the human smuggling trade.

Area police commander Joseph Gichangi said the Ethiopians were illegal immigrants who had sneaked into the country by road, and were in the process of being smuggled to South Africa.

“The 132 suspects were arrested on Friday afternoon in a residential house in Mihango. We don’t know how they passed many police roadblocks without being detected,” Gichangi told journalists in Nairobi.

In recent months, Kenya has witnessed increasing cases of Ethiopian nationals being nabbed in the country while on transit to Tanzania or South Africa.

Most of the illegal immigrants normally cannot converse in either English or the local Swahili language presenting challenges to the police and the immigration officers.

Hundreds of immigrants are usually found locked up in congested rooms in Kenyan towns and cities.

A similar operation carried out on October 6 in Mihango led to the arrest of another 67 Ethiopian immigrants.

In August, 13 Ethiopians were arrested in a house in Parklands while en route to South Africa.

In July, 40 Ethiopians were arrested in a house in Kayole, an informal settlement at the outskirts of Nairobi for being in the country illegally.

Despite the crackdown and repatriation the trade continues to thrive.

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