Crackdown by Indian Police Saves Kenyans Flown Out to Work in Lodges

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A photo of the International Arrivals section at the Mumbai Airport, India.
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Police officers in Chennai, India, began cracking down on lodges and motels in the region after an ordeal exposed a network of heart-wrenching activities.

According to a report by an Indian daily, Daiji World, on Tuesday, May 30, two Indian nationals were arrested for forcing four Kenyan women into sex slavery.

Police conducting their patrols late at night found a Kenyan woman who had been kicked out of a lodging on the streets.

Detectives, acting on their new-found lead, went to the lodge seeking more information about the lady, but the managers denied having any knowledge of her.

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However, out of suspicion, the officers arrested the manager and the assistant. They interrogated them before admitting that the Kenyan women had been detained at the lodge for one month and forced to become sex workers.

“When police reached the lodge and enquired about the Kenyan woman, they feigned ignorance. On suspicion, police took the manager and his assistant into custody for questioning,” the report read in part.

Further, the police officers learnt that the women had been flown to the native Indian region on a tourist visa, and they later learnt that the visa for one of the women had already expired.

“The four women were discovered by the police to have been detained and forced into prostitution rings after being transported from their native Kenya to Chennai. The one woman's tourist visa had already expired when the four women arrived in Chennai on it,” added the report.

Following the arrests, the police officers announced that they had begun a crackdown on all the lodges, and motels in the area.

“The Greater Chennai Police have started an investigation into all the inns, hotels, and homestays in the area to see if there are any other prostitution rings operating there,” noted the report. 

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu, on May 17, warned that one of the ways Kenyans were conned was through the issuance of tourist visas by rogue agents. 

She stated that the agents issued tourist visas to their clients instead of work permits, meaning that no job awaited the person abroad.

"Another huge problem we have is human trafficking where you see an advert and apply and the Visas are processed in a strange way, you are given a tourist visa instead of a work permit. They even pay for your ticket and when you land you realise that there was no job," Njogu explained. 

She added that Kenyans who fell prey ended up doing odd or illegal jobs to survive, and in some cases, some were sold into slavery and could not come back home.

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A photo of planes parked at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in India
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