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Illegal immigrants arrested begging in Mombasa

30 October 2013, 19:06 Rodgers Buluma

Mombasa - Thirteen Tanzanian beggars have been arrested at the Mwembe Tayari market in Mombasa for being in the country illegally and causing havoc in town.

It has been established that the arrested were brought into the country by another man who has been benefiting from their daily collections. Most of the beggars in Mombasa are employed by private entrepreneurs for profit.

Seven of those arrested are disabled and can only walk on fours and are said to be the main collectors while the other six provide security for the beggars in case looters show up.

It is said that the beggars were being dropped off every morning by a vehicle (Pickup truck) and then collected in the evening by a man they were afraid of mentioning by name and whom they preferred to refer to as 'boss'.

The 13 had been charged Wednesday by the County court of Mombasa before honorable Justice Abraham Gachie for being in the country illegally and causing nuisance around the area, but the immigration offices of Mombasa applied for the case to be handed over to them.

Speaking to the media in her offices, the Mombasa County court prosecutor, Caroline Masai, said that the county court is barred from issuing rulings beyond the county by-laws and that the accused were entitled to community work of up to two days or a fine of at most KES 2 000 each before being deported back to their country.

“We as a County court are afraid that the accused might freely return to the streets of Mombasa after they complete the community work and for that, we have opted to let the office of immigration handle the case as it has mandate to forward it to the court for the Kenyan laws to be applied sufficiently,” County court prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said that the six able migrants are to be charged of being unlawfully in the country, causing nuisance by being beneficiaries of money collected by beggars and human trafficking, while the disabled are to face charges of causing nuisance by begging within the Mombasa CBD and being illegally in the country.

The police in collaboration with the County askaris are conducting an investigation to identify the beggars' 'boss'.

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