British pair arrested in Kenya after visa crackdown

Aturukan Hotel in Kitale
The Aturukan Hotel in Kitale, Kenya. Photo: Facebook

Two British nationals have been arrested in Kitale after it was discovered their visas had expired.

Britons David James Smith, 33, and Daniel Richard Bradlin were arrested at Aturukan Hotel where they had been staying for over a month after their visas expired along with Kenyan Paul Wekesa (not the tennis player and flower seller of the same name). They have since been charged them with staying in the country illegally, handed over to the Anti-Terror Police Unit and after being charged in a Kitale court they were released on bond.

Trans Nzoia County police commander Ayub Ali, said the authorities were alerted by workers at the hotel after the pair raised suspicions by rarely leaving their room.

He said they had booked a room where they were “staying and enjoying themselves without any activity”.

“Staff noted that the two routinely left the hotel at 4pm and would come back in the morning,” Ali said, adding that they had been to a club in the town centre and only returned at 2am, although they paid their bills in full.

It has been alleged that the duo had been depositing Ksh800,000 a week into the account of local resident Paul Wekesa and that they had also bought him a Ksh25 million house in Lavington, Nairobi. 

“We want to establish what kind of engagement they had to the extent of buying him a house in Lavington,” Trans Nzoia county commissioner Sam Ojwang said.

The arrests follow a workshop held in the county where an action plan for prevention and countering violent extremism was discussed, with locals being encouraged to report any people whose activities they are suspicious of.

In 2018, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i issued tough directives that required foreigners to apply for work permits from their respective countries before they could be allowed to work in the country.  

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