, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Four Britons have been ordered to pay fines of Sh200,000 or face a year in jail each, after they admitted unlawfully taking photographs of planes at the Wilson Airport.
The four also admitted entering a restricted area without permission and refusing to follow lawful instructions given to them by an officer.
Makadara Court Senior Resident Magistrate Stephen Jalango heard that Ian Glover, 46, Eddie Swift and Paul Abbott, both 47 and Steve Gibson, 60, entered Wilson Airport without the authority of the Kenya Airports Authority manager and took photos.
They committed the offence on March 11 at the airside of East African Air Charters Hanger at the Wilson Airport.
They were further accused of refusing to follow lawful instructions given to them by Douglas Singei not to enter the restricted area of Wilson Airport airside without due permission.
Through their lawyer Nicodemus Ouma, the four told court that they were remorseful and had written and communicated with the Manager of Corporate Affairs at the Kenya Airports Authority before visiting the country.
“We had communicated with officer in December last year and we had given all the documents required,” they told court.
Jalango convicted the four by considering their mitigation.
“I have considered their mitigation and I hereby sentence them to serve one year in jail or pay a fine of Sh100,000 for each count.”
The court heard the suspects arrived in the country on March 10 while on a three-day transit visa. The next day they went to Wilson Airport to meet with the manager Charles Owino who was to give them permission to enter the airside.
They were denied access because their passports had not been vetted by the necessary authority. They were advised to go back at KAA to get permission from the manager. They declined and entered airside wearing reflective jackets and started taking photos of planes.
The prosecution said they were arrested in possession of five memory cards, two iPhones, a Nokia, a laptop and an iPad. The gadgets were taken for cyber crime analysis.