In Brief

Six Immigration employees arrested over passport fraud

Six Department of Immigration Services employees, including an intern, as well as nine suspected brokers around the city centre have been arrested for their involvement in the corruption scandal surrounding passport issuance at Nyayo House, Nairobi.

According to the DCI, the public and foreigners seeking passports and work permits were coerced into paying hefty bribes to access essential services. The rogue employees were exploiting a temporary system glitch at Nyayo House to line their pockets.

They even deployed brokers around Nyayo House to lure desperate applicants and those with influence into securing special treatment. After investigation and profiling of suspects, detectives raided the Department of Immigration Services, apprehending five suspects, including Nicodemus Muide, who fell ill during questioning but has since recovered. Additional operations in Nyayo House and city centre led to the arrest of another staff member and eight more brokers.

Read also: Passport conmen in Mombasa, Kisumu and Kisii on DCI radar

Passport backlog

A paper trail of transactions in the suspects’ mobile money and bank accounts revealed how money was funneled to immigration officers and their proxies, the DCI said.

These arrests follow a crackdown initiated by Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki, determined to eliminate corruption cartels responsible for a backlog of over 40,000 passport applications. Prof Kindiki declared, “This space is not available for corruption,” pledging to sweep away the well-organized criminal ring within the immigration ranks.

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