DCI Put On Notice Rehabilitation Centres Holding Victims Against Their Will

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has partnered with the United States embassy in Nairobi, Immigration Services, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), among other government agencies, in the fight against illegal rehabilitation centres in the country.

This is after some rehabilitation centres mainly targeting young Somali's living in the United States and Europe were discovered to be holding youthful captive members of the Somali community brought in for rehabilitation by their kin after becoming drug addicts, alcoholics, and generally disobedient abroad.

The rehabs, mainly situated in the city's Eastleigh and Ongata Rongai suburbs that style themselves as treatment centres, have turned out to be a nightmare for the youths who are shipped into the country by their parents to ostensibly learn the culture and traditions of their African people.

In the forum coordinated by the U.S embassy in Nairobi, which also brought the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drugs Abuse (NACADA) on board, the stakeholders committed to ensuring that all legal measures are adhered to in dealing with the vice that is gaining prominence among the Somali community living abroad.

"This is after it was established that there existed challenges in prosecution since witnesses and victims failed to show up to testify, especially after reuniting with their families abroad.

"DCI's Serious Crimes Unit has taken the lead in arresting this vice and shall be partnering with all stakeholders in ensuring that rehabilitation centres adhere to all legal requirements, failure to which stern legal action shall be taken against defaulters," said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI.

In one such instance, in April this year, detectives raided the Irshad rehabilitation centre along the second avenue in Eastleigh, where ten foreigners were rescued, including seven Somali-American citizens, one Dutch, one Canadian, and one British national.

Following the raid, the ten who had been physically abused and lived in inhumane conditions were rescued and reunited with their families.

Further investigations revealed that their kin had tricked them that they were going on safari in Africa, only for them to jet into the country and get whisked from the airport to the centre surrounded by a perimeter wall, an electric fence, and a mean-looking disciplinarian.

After arriving at the centres and confiscating their travel documents, the youths learn that they are not on safari to learn about their beautiful culture but a behavior rectification centre where the cane is administered thoroughly.

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