Puzzle of 65 Ethiopians arrested in Ruiru house
The police are investigating how 65 illegal Ethiopian immigrants sneaked into Ruiru and booked into a guesthouse without being detected at a time security organs are cracking down on illegal immigrants and suspected terrorists.
The large party of men arrived on Tuesday night and were all ushered into a house by a local accomplice. Ruiru police chief Issac Thuranira who led an operation to arrest the foreigners said yesterday the illegal immigrants had been in Kenya for three days.
Sources said the focus of the probe will be to establish how the large number of people made their way deep into Kenya without being stopped at the road blocks between Ruiru and the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
An Ethiopian refugee in Kenya identified Yusuf Wadeh Badole has been identified by the police as the man who made plans for the big group. Badole was granted asylum by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on January 30.
He was among the people arrested yesterday by police from the Ruiru Police Station and taken to the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium for screening. Police also arrested Jacob Muturi, the caretaker of the guest house where the aliens were living.
Muturi told the police he did not know when the group came into the building as he lives away from the guest house. He told the police that the landlord whom he identified as Teresia Wanjiru had rented the house to a tenant whom left last week.
He claimed that he came into the guest house when the police arrived and that he wanted to lock the house as instructed by his boss. Two men who were driving in a Toyota Probox which had brought food to the group were also arrested and the vehicle towed to Kasarani police station.
Badole was driving the vehicle and was in the company of a second man. A police source said they will focus on the police and immigration officers manning the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were being trafficked to South Africa after which they would find their way to Europe. Interior and coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseh Ole Lenku yesterday made an impromptu visit to the Kasarani stadium and held discussions with top police commanders in charge of the screening centre.
A police crackdown of illegal immigrants, especially Somalis, in the past two weeks has sparked off a tide of political and religious acrimony. Somali politicians and Muslim clerics have blamed the police for racial profiling, racial discrimination and human rights abuse.
But the police have maintained they are keen to rid the country of foreigners who might be linked to terror attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi. Thousands of Somalis were arrested and detained at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium as their travel papers are verified by the police and immigration.
On Thursday former Speaker Farah was summoned by the police after he claimed in a TV talk show that the government could be fueling terror attacks to carry favour with the Western powers.