, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18 – Police raided a residential house in the outskirts of Nairobi early Wednesday and arrested 89 illegal Ethiopian immigrants.
The aliens – mainly men aged between 18 and 45 – had been staying in the house in Dagoreti for close to a week before it was raided by police.
“We are grateful to members of the public because were it not for their information, we could not have arrested these foreigners,” Kikuyu District Commissioner Fred Kitema said.
The house had been rented to a businesswoman who is being sought by the police.
“Police officers have been able to interrogate relatives of the woman and we understand she rented this house for business; I think this is the kind of business she wanted to do. To traffic human beings,” Mr Kitema said.
Of those arrested, only 13 were found with valid travel documents and passports.
Most of them did not have any identification document and did not speak Kiswahili or English. Only a few were able to communicate in broken English and Kiswahili.
“They have been living in a deplorable condition, most of them were lying on the floor with nothing to cover themselves,” one police officer who was involved in the dawn operation said.
“There was some food in the house, probably from last night’s dinner,” he added.
Some of the aliens told police they had travelled from Ethiopia for close to two months, and were hoping to head on to South Africa and Malawi where they were promised jobs.
Twelve of them told police they had been arrested twice in Moyale where they were detained for a few days before they bribed their way out.
The aliens were bundled into a police truck and escorted to the Gigiri police station where they were being detained.
Police have indicated they will be charging them with being in the country illegally.
In June, some 44 Ethiopians were arrested under similar circumstances in Ngong town as they prepared to travel to South Africa.