Man detained over human trafficking suspicions


A man suspected to be part of a human trafficking cartel will remain in custody for 14 more days to allow police complete investigations.

Geofrey Ekwaro Okirori was arrested in Busia town on 1st January 2019 and immediately escorted to Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) Headquarters for further investigations.

The police want Okirori detained on ground that he is at flight risk and his associates are yet to be arrested.

It is alleged that on 20th November 2018, a good Samaritan who was on board a North Rift Shuttle enroute from Malaba to Nairobi reported that the said vehicle picked three passengers from an unusual point between Malaba and Bungoma.

Amongst the three, two of them alighted at westlands and were picked by a waiting motor vehicle, make Toyota Fielder REG. KCB 699B.

According to the investigating Officer PC Moses Barkwang, brief investigations carried out so far show that Okirori was in communication with other associates who he is believed to be assisting in facilitating the movement of the victim.

The police say that intelligence information indicate that the said trafficking network is commonly used by terror groups operating in the region to facilitate movement of recruits and potential fighters.

The police later circulated the registration number of the said Toyota and was intercepted at Eastleigh. The driver was arrested and has since been charged.

The driver of the North Rift Shuttle was summoned and recorded a statement. He confirmed as having picked the three.

The police accuse Okirori of failing to cooperate with them leading to delay in concluding the investigations.

Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot ruled that the prosecution had provided compelling reasons not to release the suspect at this stage.

“The suspect shall be remanded at Muthaiga Police Station for 14 days. The matter will be mentioned on 16th January 2019,” ruled Cheruiyot.