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Kenya: New Rangeela Bar's owner charged for trafficking girls from Nepal for sexual exploitation

"Trafficked for sex: How Nepalese girls are lured into a life of slavery in Kenya"

Asali Bai, 20, came to Kenya in November last year hoping to find a way to support her family back home in Nepal. But when she got here, the young woman, who had been forced to drop out of school while in Year Seven when her ageing parents could no longer pay her school fees, became a sex slave.  Asali is the firstborn in a family of seven. To earn money after dropping out of school, she became a dancer. It was in the course of her work in Nepal that she met an agent who identified himself as Bishal. She told him her problems and he offered her a way out: How about a job in Kenya? “(Bishal) told me he knew a person who was looking for an artiste. I got interested,” she says. “He connected me to a Mr Asif.” Within a week of making the connection, Bai had received a passport and an air ticket that would bring her to Mombasa, courtesy of this Asif...

Asali is one of four women who have shared their stories with the police investigating an international human-trafficking syndicate based in Kenya. The girls’ statements illustrate clearly how Kenya, once thought to be merely a transit and collection point for sex and child slaves, is now also a destination...The New Rangeela club, where the young women performed, is the focus of this investigation. It is owned by Mombasa tycoon Asif Amirali Alibhai Jetha — the ‘Asif’ who helped Bai get into the country...He has now been charged with three counts of trafficking, promoting human trafficking and interfering with travel documents through the act of seizing the women’s passports. The suspect is also accused of allowing the New Rangeela Bar to be used for trafficking purposes.

The club is open only to a few who-is-who, people who can afford the hefty entrance and tip fees. “When you visit the club, the doors are always closed and one has to knock. The guards check you out and if they know you, that’s when you are allowed in,” says a man who has visited the club, but who refused to be named for this story.