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Immigration Officials to Be Sacked Over Fake Passports

Filed under: kenya — admin @ 3:01 pm

The government has announced that some civil servants would be sacked over the Armenian brothers’ saga, even as Catholic Archbishop Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki called for the sacking of all those involved.

The Immigration and Registration of Persons assistant minister, Ananiah Mwaboza, said the first to go would be officials who issued the two brothers with Kenyan passports.

“Even the police officers who issued Artur Magaryan with a letter showing he is a deputy commissioner of police should go,” Mwaboza said at a press conference in Mombasa.

He said issuing a foreigner with a document he can use to even stop a pilot from taking off from Kenyan Airports was a serious matter. He said the civil servants who issued such documents were dangerous.

“This is risking the lives of Kenyans and visitors because even terrorists can have access to documents which they can use to bring into the airport dangerous items,” said Mwaboza.

He took issue with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials who took part in the verification of a controversial container, which was imported by the Armenian brothers. The minister said the verification of the container at the port was not done properly.

He said the basement of the container, which was covered by an iron sheet, should have been drilled to check if there were drugs underneath. Mwaboza demanded the removal of Custom officers who issued a report that the container had been verified, saying the officials could no longer be trusted.

Commission of Inquiry

Ndingi said those implicated in the activities of the alleged Armenian brothers, Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan, should be sacked immediately. He wondered how the two foreigners found their way into the country and engaged in various activities without the knowledge or connivance of Government officials.

Without mentioning names, Ndingi said he believed individuals who abetted the actions of the Armenians were known and should be held responsible. The Archbishop was responding to questions by journalists at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church at Buru Buru, Nairobi, after presiding over Mass.

He asked: “How did they come to Kenya? If those who brought them here are known, and I suspect they are known, they should be sacked.”

The two foreigners were deported last weekend after they caused a security breach at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by drawing guns on Customs officials. Last week, President Kibaki appointed a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the events leading to their deportation.

Kibaki also suspended Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Joseph Kamau and 10 other Government officials, including police officers attached to JKIA. But leaders accused the President of going after small fry, leaving the big fish to go scot-free.

Politicians and civil society officials have demanded the sacking of Internal Security minister John Michuki and his Immigration counterpart, Gideon Konchellah. The ministers had defended the two Armenians as legitimate investors.

Containers left port

Meanwhile, conflicting instructions have stopped police from towing away the vehicles left by the Artur brothers at their Runda residence in Nairobi. The vehicles had fake registration numbers and their chassis numbers had been tampered with.

Police officers told The Standard that they had made several unsuccessful attempts to remove the vehicles, which remained under guard, as their seniors have been issuing conflicting instructions. Police sources also said there could be up to Sh40 million in foreign currency left in the house by the deported brothers.

The money was allegedly locked in a safe in one of the five bedrooms. It has emerged that 29 other containers suspected to have been imported by the two brothers had left Mombasa port.

Senior Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Alfonse Ntongaiti, said KRA discovered too late that the containers had been cleared without the brothers paying duty. He said KRA had seized three more containers reportedly imported by the brothers. Ntongaiti said one container would be opened on Monday to ascertain if it had drugs. On Friday, electronic goods were found in a container said to have been imported by the Armenians.

And a cleaner at the Immigration Department in Nyayo House, Nairobi, has been arrested over the issuance of fake passports to the Artur brothers. Police said that for a Sh500 bribe, she smuggled out blank passport materials, which were later handed over to the Armenians. The suspect allegedly gained entry to the strongroom on second floor at Nyayo House, while on duty and allegedly stole the passport numbers A1031194, A1031195 and A1031196 on May 2. Officials are said to have discovered the theft three days later.

An Immigration officer has also been suspended over the issuance of the fake passports, which were seized by police during a raid on the Arturs’ Runda residence.

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