Kenya club owner held for trafficking in Nepali women

Published On: April 17, 2019 04:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 17: A Kenyan court has charged a man of Indian origin holding dual passport of Great Britain and Canada with sex trafficking of 12 Nepali women. The man in question owns a club in Kenyan city of Mombasa from where Nepali women were rescued earlier this week. 

Asif Amirali Alibhai, the accused, faces three counts on human trafficking and promotion of human trafficking, local media reported.“Amirali, whose nationality was also in question, is claimed to have permitted the club to be used by the Nepalese in promoting human trafficking. The court was also informed that the suspect confiscated the Nepalese citizens traveling documents,” reported KahawaTungu, a Kenyan news website.

In the charge sheet, the petitioner has accused Amirali of 'having harbored the girls for the purpose of exploiting the girls by means of deception and forcing them into slavery through confiscation of passport'.Amirali, who has denied the charges, has been released after posting a bail of Ksh200,000 (Rs 220,000) with an alternative bond of Ksh700, 000 (Rs 770, 000).

The twelve women are being returned home with the help of Nepal's mission in South Africa. They are the latest lot to be rescued from Africa. In January 2018, Kenyan security forces had rescued three Indian and seven Nepali women from captivity in Mombasa. In July that year, 21 Nepali women were rescued from a strip club in Kenya.

Nepal's mission in South Africa has been returning these women on its own expense or in government fund. In some instances, Nepalis working in Africa have been raising funds to send home their compatriots in trouble.

International human traffickers have long been taking Nepali women to African countries including Kenya through informal channels. Most women are smuggled to these countries through deception, while some visit these countries knowingly in the hope of better earning.

According to police, human traffickers first smuggle women via land to India and send them to African countries through various international airports in India. In January, Indian police had arrested Lopsang Lama, a Nepali national, for his alleged involvement in trafficking of Nepali and Indian women. Lama was alleged ringleader in the smuggling of 16 women, who were being trafficked to the Gulf and African countries and were rescued by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in July, 2018.

Earlier, Nepal Police had busted a racket of Nepali actors and actresses who were smuggling women to African countries masking them as dancers. Most of these dance bars are owned by Indian nationals. Some Nepalis are also in entertainment and night club business in Kenya. Rajan Thapa, a Nepali man, runs three dance bars at Mambosa and Nairobi, according to Kantipur Daily.

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