, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Twenty-three foreigners have been arrested in a major crackdown conducted by police in Mombasa as part of security measures put in place for the festive season.
Coast Province Head of Immigration James Nyatigo says the crackdown was carried out jointly with immigration officials.
Nyatigo said the 23 foreigners did not have working permits noting they could have sneaked into the country through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Addressing media on Monday, Nyatigo said police were on a high alert to ensure no foreigner enters the country illegally.
“They were nine Pakistanis, seven Chinese, a German, a Lebanese, three Indians, one Somali and one Yemeni citizen. We have information that they came to the country through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” he revealed.
He said they will be arraigned in court before they are deported back to their respective countries.
He urged hotel owners in the region to ensure they scrutinize documents presented by clients to avoid booking illegal aliens especially during the festive season.
Security agents were put on high alert since the September 21 when terrorists massacred 67 shoppers at the Westgate mall, in what was described as the worst terror attack in the country since the 1998 US embassy bombing.
The arrest of the foreigners comes a week after the government revoked Kenyan citizenship, for 104 individuals of different nationalities, which were issued irregularly, over the last five years.
Ministry of Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said on November 14 that the decision follows the discovery that the citizenship’s were acquired through questionable means.
He pointed out that the move is part of the government’s efforts to curb the issuance of crucial documents through fraudulent means to foreigners.
“I wish to inform you that I have revoked 104 citizenship documents which we established were fraudulently acquired.
The power to revoke citizenship is vested on the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government under Article 17 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and Section 21 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act No 12 of 2012,” he said.
Lenku further stated that legal action will also be taken against those who had irregularly acquired Kenyan citizenship and also those who helped them acquire the vital documents since it undermined the country’s security.
He appealed to those charged with the responsibility of issuing the essential documents to strictly comply with the law and warned that stern action will be taken on anyone found flouting laid down regulations.
“Every nation in the world protects the sanctity of its citizenship documents. I have directed officers involved in the issuance of birth certificates, identification cards, passports, and work permits to strictly follow the law. Any officer who fails will be doing so at his or her own peril,” he warned.