Chinese arrested, freed over permits

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

Operations at the China Global Television Network (CGTN) offices in Nairobi were temporarily paralysed yesterday as  detectives raided the establishment in search of foreigners working in the country without requisite documents.

The afternoon raid at Kilimani area by a team of Flying Squad officers saw 13 Chinese nationals arrested and taken to Nairobi regional police headquarters. They were, however, immediately released after their work documents were verified.

“The 13 Chinese nationals picked up from CGTN have been released after ascertaining their immigration status is okay,” said Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet. In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi protested the arrests.

“The Chinese Embassy respects the legal acts of Kenyan police. However, the Embassy deems that the Chinese nationals who hold legal residence and working permits should not be detained,” read the statement.

In an  amateur video footage seen by People Daily, officers are seen combing the building floor to floor. Some female foreign workers had declined to be handcuffed. 

CGTN Africa is a subsidiary of China Global Television Network, the English-language news channel run by Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

The government has reiterated its commit to flush out illegal immigrants. The operation was launched by Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i in May.

Last week, six Sri-Lanka nationals among them a prominent gemstone investor in Taita Taveta county were arrested in Coast region while five Egyptian nationals were seized in Homa Bay county for lack of work permits.

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