An Ethiopian man was sentenced to 31 years in prison for trafficking 12 fellow Ethiopians immigrants in Nairobi.
Yibekal Gatachew alias Adinan Mohamed Galano was sentenced by a Kahawa West Law Court following his arrest on November 3, 2021 in Ngumo estate, Nairobi.
During the arrest, 12 Ethiopian nationals were found emaciated and chained in a room as they waited to be repatriated to a different country while headed for South Africa.
Gatachew was also sentenced for an additional year for acquiring a fake document.
This was after he was found with a fake alien identity card.
The immigrants were later repatriated to Ethiopia.
Police praised the developments and said the sentencing was a warning to a gang behind a series of human smuggling and trafficking from Ethiopia through Kenya to either South Africa or the Middle East.
This came as police detained 30 more Ethiopians in Eastleigh, Nairobi for being in the country illegally.
They were found in a room at Teachers’ Plaza as they waited to be moved to a different location, police said.
The 20 men and 10 women had difficulties in communicating with police at the time of their arrest, officials said.
This is the latest such arrest to happen in a series affecting Ethiopians on transit to various countries.
Last week, police detained 26 women of Ethiopian origin after being found in an unfinished house in a village in Muranga County.
Villagers in Kwambirwa called the police and informed them the group had been confined in the house and were being fed at night.
A team of police led by county commander David Mathiu visited the area and found the women aged between 22 and 32 in the house armed with their passports in the Monday September 4 evening incident.
Dozens of Ethiopians are arrested in the country as they try to use this route to other places like Tanzania, Middle East and South Africa.
Police and immigration officials have decried increased cases of Ethiopian aliens nabbed in the country while on transit.
Officials from the Transnational Organized Crime are conducting joint operations to deal with the issue of human smuggling.
Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit and later deported. Most of those arrested come to Kenya to seek jobs or are on transit.