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Kenya ranks 16th globally for organised crime – report

Kenya has ranked 16th globally out of 195 countries for organised crimes.

This is according to a recent report released by the Global Organised Crime Index.

The report also ranks Kenya fourth out of 54 African countries and first out of the nine East African countries for organized crime.

According to the survey report, Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking in both forced labor and sexual exploitation.

Traffickers in Kenya work with law enforcement officials to move people in and out of the country, and officials are believed to be complicit in the trafficking of women, girls, and young men to Gulf countries for domestic work. For instance, consider the case of five Kenyan men who got stuck in Malaysia after being thrown by their employee.

The five men stated that they were taken to Malaysia by a Kenyan agent, then sold to a Malaysian agent whom they worked for without pay for five months before being kicked out.

Arms trafficking is also a major form of organized crime in Kenya.

Due to their involvement in stock theft, pastoralist communities like the Pokot and Turkana along the Kenyan-Ugandan border and the Borana along the Kenyan-Ethiopian border are known to be highly armed.

Al-Shabaab elements reportedly collude with corrupt Kenyan law enforcement officers to traffic illicit weapons from Somalia into Kenya.

The report also says Kenya is a transit country for heroin trafficked from Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf to Europe, the Americas, and other parts of Africa.

Currently, there is a significant domestic problem with heroin and cocaine consumption, especially around the coast. Instances of drug trafficking include Mathee wa Ngara, alias Nancy Kigunzu, who was arrested on drug trafficking charges after police seized 26 bags of marijuana and about Sh13.4 million in bags in the Ngara area of Nairobi.

Increased cybercrime is also a major issue in Kenya. Due to Kenya’s digital revolution, cybercrime, including ransomware and data breaches, has increased.

On July 27, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo confirmed hacking attempts on the e-citizen portal. The attack on the platform was characterized by an unsuccessful effort to overload the system by clogging it with extraordinary requests.

Other services affected were Kenya Power, Kenya Railways, bank-to-mpesa transfers, M-shwari and KCB Mpesa, the Mpesa App, and the My Safaricom app.

The country experiences a high level of corruption among government officials and executive office holders, which leads to financial fraud, embezzlement, and misuse of funds.

The method used to get the recent findings was a commodity-driven assessment framework used to measure illicit markets.

It assesses the scope and scale, as well as the value and impact, of 15 criminal markets.

Additionally, it used 12 resilience building blocks to measure the existence and potential of countries to be robust against organized crime, as well as the structure and effect of five different criminal actor types.

The report claims that organized crime climbed up by 0.07 points in Kenya, from 6.95 in 2021 to 7.02 in 2022, raising the country’s overall standing to 7.02.

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