By our reporter
Twenty Ugandan girls have been arrested in Kenya and paraded in court on suspected cases of human trafficking.
The young woman were arrested at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday, as they prepared to head to Oman.
Surprisingly, the girls pleaded guilty to using passports with forged Kenyan security stamps.
Kenya’s Immigration Department’s Forgery Detection Unit says that security endorsements on their passports were forged.
However a Magistrate in Nairobi, Francis Andayi, declined to sentence the suspects on Wednesday, saying prosecution did not present enough evidence to prove the charges.
The trafficked girls’ documents say they entered Kenya through Busia, Malaba and Lwakhakha border posts.
However Kenyan authorities say stamps were fake as they did not originate through the border posts.
The magistrate however pardoned the 20 girls and asked police to arrange their access to the Ugandan High Commission in Nairobi which may arrange their reunion with families.
The judge ruled, “Their physical stature shows they are young and the fact that they can’t speak in English means they are not well educated. I, therefore, discharge them without punishment.”
However their passports were confiscated.
The girls’ lawyer says the Ugandan High commission in Nairobi wants the girls interrogated to understand the ring behind girl trafficking to the Middle East.