Tanzanian businessman sentenced to 60 years in prison for hiring foreign girls to work as dancers in Mombasa bar

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 27 Nov, 2021 22:08 | 3 mins read
A gavel. PHOTO | FILE
. A gavel. PHOTO | FILE

A Tanzanian businessman has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after a court in Shanzu found him guilty of human trafficking and other related charges.

Shanzu Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo handed a 30 year jail term to Asif Amirali Alibhai Jetha who has a dual citizenship of Canada and United Kingdom after finding him guilty of charges of human trafficking.

Jetha was also slapped with a 20 years sentence for promoting human trafficking and an additional 10 years for interfering with travel documents for 12 Nepalase women.

In his judgment, Magistrate Odhiambo said that the upshot of the case was that the facts have remained stubborn ,they had aligned themselves with the law and consequently the court had found that the prosecution had established it's case beyond reasonable doubt against Jetha.

The court further ordered the accused person pay a fine of Kshs 100,000 for the offense of being in possession of proceeds of crime and an extra Ksh1 million for engaging in business without a work permit, he noted that the 12 Nepalese women went through an experience that they may not wish to be part of their lives.

"The search for greener pastures due to regional economic imbalance has made many a people to jump across fences and take flights across oceans just to have a taste of life outside their motherland and comfort zones. We hope and believe that the girls will share their experience with others so as not to get into their former shoes, " Odhaimbo said.

The magistrate pointed out that the circumstances and evidence tendered in court showed that the accused person committed the act of human trafficking by facilitating the travel of the 12 Nepalese girls, recruiting and transferring them from the airport and harboring them in their place of residence.

"He used the means of deception by sending them a one month salary in advance to facilitate their travel and taking advantage of their financial vulnerability for the purposes of exploitation where the girls were kept in a state of slavery and subjected to practices similar to slavery by being used to get money from customers at the bar," the magistrate added.

The court further noted that the exploitation of the girls was also manifested in the way their movements and communication were controlled.

According to the evidence tabled in court, the girls said that they were allowed only a day off in a month adding that they could make a phone call using the house keeper's phone between 3pm and 6pm to communicate with their families back in Nepal at the mercy of the accused person in terms of movement and communication.

The court in it's judgment further revealed that it was the prosecution case that the accused facilitated the interference of the pass ports of the victims when they went to Tanzania to renew their passes after they had overstayed in the country.

"A person who facilitates, aids or abets the exit or entry of persons from or to the country at international and local airports, territorial boundaries and seaports for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons committal an offence and is liable to imprisonment for term of not less than thirty years, in this respect the act of taking the passports of the girls on the pretext of safe custody and facilitating their journey to Tanzania to renew their visas, amounts to confiscation and as such l find there was interference with their travel documents," the judge said.

In his opening remarks the magistrate pointed out that a woman must do what a woman has to do and what matters at the end of the day is the amount of food on the table and while pursuing for survival a woman has to uphold self preservation.

"We all strive to eat and not to be eaten, all human beings have 24 hours in a day it's how each and every one of us make use of the 24 hours that make the difference which is manifested by individual success at the end of the day, it is for this reason ( survival and self preservation) that some 12 Nepalese girls woke up on different days between 2018 and 2019and made it to Kenya in a bid to make a living for themselves, "he said.

He was given 14 days to appeal his sentence.