NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is to determine the fate of two Iranians arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) last week with forged Israeli passports.
Hesamoddin Hatami Malmiri and Zahra Kolobian, plead guilty on Tuesday to the two counts of knowingly possessing and using forged passports and of being in Kenya illegally.
They however pleaded with Resident Magistrate Kaguru not to send them back to Iran arguing that they had been on their way to seek asylum in Brussels when they were apprehended.
Kaguru therefore charged the UNHCR to investigate the circumstances under which Malmiri and Kolobian left Iran with a court date set for October 1.
The anti-terrorism police on Monday told AFP that the suspects would be treated as illegal immigrants and not terror suspects.
The Iranians having been arrested last week Tuesday, “while departing Kenya to Brussels aboard Brussels Airlines flight SN 463,” their charge sheet reads.
“We understand they arrived here from Armenia and wanted to use the forged Israeli passports to go to Belgium. They wanted to go to Europe. We believe they are a couple, a man and wife,” John Mulaulu, acting head of the anti-terrorism police unit, told AFP.
In August three Iranian nationals were arrested at Nairobi’s JKIA airport while transiting to London on fake Greek passports and were jailed for one year.
And last year a Kenyan court sentenced two Iranians to life in prison for terror-related charges, including possessing explosives allegedly to be used in bomb attacks.