Police break major human trafficking syndicate

November 22, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 22 – Police have smashed a human trafficking syndicate in Nairobi and rescued 76 women who were being transported to Saudi Arabia.

The women, who had been booked in at a lodge in River Road for the past one week, were rescued following a tip off from the public.

They were taken to the Central Police Station where they recorded statements.

Central Divisional Police boss Richard Muguai said a businesswoman suspected to have recruited the women was arrested.

"We are interrogating the recruiter. She says she was contacted by a Saudi businessman who asked her to assemble 100 women or more who will be offered jobs in Saudi Arabia," he said.

The police have not established the exact jobs the women were to take up in Saudi Arabia. They say the woman claims to have been given money to cater for medical tests, visa and travel fees.

Muguai said investigation had been extended to the Immigration Ministry to establish circumstances in which the women were issued with visas and other documents.

"This is a major syndicate and that is why we want to know more. It is not possible for such a large group of women to just get such documents. For them to prepare to leave the country, various Government departments must be aware of how the documents were being issued," he said.

Muguai said the women mainly from Coast, Central and Western Provinces had been converted to Islam. There were also Ethiopians and Somalis.

"These women have been living in deplorable conditions. They have been sharing a room up to 15 of them at the lodging and that is what concerned those who tipped us off," he said.

One of the women told journalists they were being paid a daily allowance of Sh125 besides the meals and accommodation.


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