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ITF rescues young seafarers in Kenya from rogue agent

13 October 2017

The ITF in Kenya has helped to rescue three young seafarers from an unregistered shipping agent who had promised them work, but expected to be paid in return. 

ITF Kenya maritime inspector Betty Mutugi reports that the ITF had come to the aid of three young men who had been approached by a “rogue” local representative of a Chinese shipping company – they were among 30 young men who had been approached by this man between January and September 2017. The “agent” had offered them financial and other support for maritime training, medical assessments and travel document. In return they were to pay back this money through deductions from the USD170 monthly salary promised to them.

Ms Mutugi learned that the three young men were travelling through Nairobi en route to Peru, where they were due to meet the “agent”. Following the men’s arrest at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the ITF Africa deputy regional secretary Anna Karume intervened and the three men were rescued from the police. The agent’s driver, who had met the men at the airport, was also arrested but detained.

Anna Karume commented: “These unregistered agents are continuing to target young men and women with promises of better lives abroad. However, I am glad that the driver is still in police custody and the relevant government bodies have been informed.”

The ITF, which had worked with the department of maritime and shipping affairs, the ministry of labour and the Seafarers’ Union of Kenya on this case, arranged for the young men to travel home to Mombasa.


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