Driver who died in human trafficking case was KDF soldier: Police

Immigrants car accident

The aftermath of the accident.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri | Nation Media Group

Detectives in Murang’a are investigating a human trafficking case involving a soldier who died while ferrying seven undocumented foreigners.

The Toyota Probox used in the smuggling overturned, killing the driver on the spot and injuring his passengers.

The male driver has been identified as a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldier.
While the identity of the man was yet to be revealed, police in Murang’a confirmed that he was a soldier on active duty but was on leave.

“The driver was a soldier in active service and on pass leave. We have reported the matter to DOD as we investigate the accident as we gather more details on the aliens,” Murang’a South Police boss Alexander Shikondi said.

Police also confirmed that the vehicle belonged to the soldier, saying the human trafficking case will be investigated by DOD.

The seven migrants will be charged with being in Kenya illegally.

Witnesses also reported that another man, who they said was armed and appeared to be a Kenyan, escaped from the scene immediately after the accident.

The survivors could not speak fluent Swahili or English, only expressing themselves in Amharic. Police said they were Ethiopian nationals aged between 20 and 32.

Before police arrived, there was tension at the scene when residents threatened to lynch the men, accusing them of being dangerous outlaws.

The accident occurred in the St Michael area, near sub-county headquarters in Kenol. The injured were rushed to nearby public and private hospitals while the damaged vehicle was towed to Makuyu Police Station.

All the hospitalised were put under police guard.

The vehicle was said to have been speeding before the driver lost control and landed in a 20-foot ditch.

Smuggling foreign nationals

Mr Shikondi said the soldier’s body was taken to the General Kago Hospital mortuary in Thika town.

Intelligence reports indicate the existence of a human trafficking network that specialises in smuggling foreign nationals into Kenya and through to Nairobi.

The smuggling is executed in three phases.

“The aliens are collected from Kenyan borders and transported through Meru County, and the Kambiti area of Murang’a South is the first stop,” said a security officer, who asked not to be named.

“Another racket player picks them up and delivers them to Thika. From Thika they are picked up by the last conveyor, who delivers them into Eastleigh, where citizenship is acquired corruptly.”

Nation.Africa was told that the racket is facilitated by a network of security officers, politicians and businessmen.

“So moneyed is the racket that some families along the Kenol-Sagana road opt to sleep in the cold so that the aliens can hide in their houses as they wait to be collected for onward conveyance,” the source said.

“It is a highly guarded racket and only comes to the fore when an accident involving the transporting vehicles occurs or when there is rivalry among security agents when sharing the spoils, some leading to arrests.”

Mr Shikondi said the accident was being investigated, adding that preliminary findings were not adding up.

“We are interested to know how the vehicle that ordinarily would be transporting aliens to Nairobi was involved in the accident while heading in the opposite direction of Sagana,” he said.

He also said the vehicle had several bullet holes on its rear side and police want to find out how and why the vehicle was shot at.

“It is a serious issue of both local and national security and we are according it the seriousness it deserves,” he said.

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