By Prudence Minayo
A number of foreigners living in Kenya have integrated so seamlessly with locals that they have become part of our daily lives. This is through sharing their day to day lives on popular social media platforms and even marrying local girls. Some of these foreigners are so well connected in government circles that they behave as if they are above the law.
WoK lists the powerful foreigners who have been deported from the country for engaging in criminal activities.
Note: Some of the deportations have been termed unfair, while others have and continue to be a mystery.
Harun Aydin was a Turkish national with links to deputy president William Ruto. He was deported from the country in August 2021 in what others including Kapseret constituency MP Oscar Sudi and Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi termed as political.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said at the time Aydin was deported over money laundering links and illegal movement into and out of Kenya.
“The Turkish national applied for an investor’s work permit Class G on November 14, 2020,” said the Interior CS.
This permit allows one to solely operate within Kenya, and under the Kenya law. He said an examination of Aydin’s work permit documents indicated he was yet to receive a formal contract that allows him the freedom to work uninterrupted. He allegedly provided the immigration department a contract stating he was allowed to work in the Kenya energy sector. The CS said the contract was dummy and not approved by the government.
The CS said the government liaised with security agencies in the countries the foreigner had visited and an alleged link to money laundering was established.
Frank De Tank
A Belgian national, Frank De Tank, alias Frank Murugi, was living in Kenya and he seemed to be enjoying every minute of it. He had been running a Tik Tok page with his alias name Frank Murugi and had amassed over 1 million followers. The 42-year-old arrived in Kenya and rented a house in the Milimani suburbs where he lived with his 22-year-old girlfriend.
Capitalising on his fame, he opened a Tik Tok page that gained a massive following. He lived lavishly and splurged money on his Kenyan girlfriend.
His true identity was revealed after he was deported to his home country Belgium. De Tank was wanted for his involvement in drug trafficking. He is said to have made €3.5 million from the illicit trade. International media reports alleged Frank and his friend, El Hajjioui Jordin, were suspected of being leaders of a gang that trafficked over 2,000 tons of Cocaine between 2015 and 2016. He had allegedly been arrested then promised to work with the police hence his release on bail in 2017. He fled to Kenya and was living freely until his arrest and subsequent deportation. His trial began on 11th February 2022.
On 9th March 2021, Citizen Digital reported that Kenyan authorities had deported an American citizen who was hiding in the country following his role in the US Capitol Insurrection on 6th January 2021. He allegedly traveled to Kenya on 24th January 2021, and purchased a return ticket to the US departing on 5th April 2021. Kenyan authorities cut his trip short by nabbing and deporting him to the US. He was picked up by FBI agents soon after landing at the John F. Kennedy.
Selahaddin Gulen, a nephew of US based Islamic preacher accused of organizing a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was also deported from Kenya. Hrw.org reported Gulen was deported to Turkey despite a Kenyan court order prohibiting his deportation. Human Rights Watch reported the Turkish national was an asylum seeker and that his deportation violated Kenya’s obligation to uphold the principle of non refoulement under international and regional refugee law.
Gulen was reported missing under unclear circumstances on 3rd May 2021 after reporting to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation head office.
Kenyan authorities announced that 53-year-old John Habeta wanted for human trafficking with interpol red notice had been deported to the Netherlands. The Dutch national of Eritrean descent had been on the run for four years and was believed to be running an underground international human smuggling network. The network trafficked people from Africa to Europe according to the DCI. He was arrested in Nairobi after a covert operation by DCI detectives.
The controversial brothers Artur Sargasyan and Artur Margaryan were deported from the country in 2006. Reports suggested that their home in Runda was raided by police who found a cache of guns,ammunition, balaclava, helmets and a number of T-shirts branded QRU (Quick Response Unit).
Together with their accomplices, the brothers were declared persona non grata and prohibited from returning to Kenya.
The Armenian brothers had landed in Kenya with fanfare openly brandishing pistols, flashy lifestyles and parties at their Runda home. According to The Standard, the two were made deputy commissioners of police, handed Kenyan passports, work permits and VIP security passes to restricted security areas at JKIA. Margaryan even dared police commissioner Major General Hussein Ali to arrest them.
Their deportation to Dubai was preceded by a gun battle after they refused to have their bags checked causing a fight with immigration officers. The brothers stay in the country and deportation still remains a mystery to date.
Anthony Chinedu was among six Nigerians who were deported from Kenya in 2013 for being in the country illegally. The six were arrested from their homes after sources indicated they were involved in dirty business. Anthony had previously been arrested after 10g of heroin was found in his house.
Chinedu had been involved in a long tussle with his wife Akinyi over their properties and custody of their children. In 2010, she asked for his deportation saying he was a danger to Kenya.
On 19th June 2007, former Immigration Minister Gideon Konchella directed that Chinedu be deported since he was one of the several foreigners in Kenya involved with the commission of several crimes including money laundering and drug trafficking. Chinedu successfully fought his deportation in 2008.