Five Chinese nationals identified as Liao Pobing, Lu Junyu, Lu Jianfang, Lu Jun, and Lin Rong, are set to be deported back to China after pleading guilty to criminal activity.
Principal Magistrate Bernard Mararo, in his ruling on Wednesday, April 29, ordered that they be sent back to their home country.
“Besides being foreigners, the accused have committed serious offences and a deterrent sentence is required,” reads an excerpt from the Magistrate's ruling.
The verdict was delivered electronically following the various measures effected by the government to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The suspects were nabbed in possession of 169 illegal gambling equipment worth an estimated Ksh4.2 million and 2,300 pieces of 20 shilling coins in Section 58, Nakuru County on December 24, 2019.
During the hearing, the 5 suspects admitted to operating the gambling machines without a licence, going on to plead guilty to the charges of failing to comply with the conditions stipulated in their tourist visas.
Three of the 5 suspects - Rong, Juanfang and Pobing - were apprehended by police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on February 20, as they tried to flee the country upon catching wind of their pending arrest.
It was further revealed that the 3 had lied to the arresting officers stationed at the Parklands Police Station, claiming that they had lost their passports going on to deny all charges.
However, during the latest hearing, they pleaded guilty to all charges.
“The accused persons are hereby fined Ksh200,000 each, for giving false information to police failure to which they will serve a 12-month jail term,” Mararo ruled.
He then explained that the five would be deported to their home nation after paying the fine or completing their sentences.
The gambling machines, currently in the possession of the police, were ordered to be destroyed, with the Magistrate emphasising that his ruling was meant to serve as a deterrent for any future offenders.
On May 31, 2018, The government banned the importation of gaming machines into the country with immediate effect.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i made the announcement even as he reiterated the governments' commitment to ensuring the highest immigration standards are enforced in order to safeguard the interest of Kenyans against foreign workers operating in the country illegally.
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