A Maua, Meru magistrates court has jailed Ethiopians found in Kenya illegally for six months.
The 10 aliens were given the option of paying a Sh100,000 fine, each in a bid to secure their freedom.
Appearing before Maua Principal Magistrate Carol Obara, the men entered a guilty plea.
Obara noted that cases of Ethiopians using the Maua route to other destinations has been on the rise.
“The issue of foreigners using the Maua route is on the rise and is a threat to national security and [can lead to] spread of Covid-19. I ask the court to take stern action to end it,” state counsel Kang’ethe Gitogo told the court.
The convicts; Eyash Adore, Jamilu Tadesse, Defefe Abere, Mintasonot Abara, Seid Kedir, Adisse Petroc, Tariko Somano, Mesfin Bobicho, Siyan Duma and Ashetu Debito were arrested while traveling in a Toyota Prado (KCQ 426Q).
Their driver on the material day was Robert Muriithi Mugo who has since been released on Sh100,000 cash bail or Sh200,000 surety.
Mugo denied smuggling charges.
Ms Obara ordered that the illegal immigrants be deported back to their country upon completion of their sentence or after paying the fines.
A report by UNHCR found that the government spends at least Sh2 billion annually to process migrants through the criminal justice system and repatriate them.
The National Police Service uses Sh833 million, Immigration department Sh674 million, Judiciary Sh75 million and National prisons service Sh396 million. These costs do not include processing costs for migrants who qualify for refugee status or asylum considerations.