December 5, 2014 / 4:23 PM / in 3 years

Dozens of Chinese held in Kenyan cyber crime investigation

NAIROBI (Reuters) - More than 70 Chinese nationals have been detained by Kenyan police investigating allegations of cyber crime, operating private radio services and being in the country illegally, their lawyers said on Friday.

China’s foreign ministry said it was aware of the arrests and would cooperate with the Kenyan authorities.

The Chinese community in Kenya, as in other African nations, has grown with the expansion in trade and aid from the Asian giant.

“The Kenyan police have detained our clients for further investigations,” said lawyer Ian Maina, who represents 40 of them. Another lawyer, Tom Wachakana, represents 36.

The lawyers said police were investigating allegations of involvement in cyber crime, breaking Kenya’s communications rules by operating private radio broadcasting services and being in the country unlawfully.

They said their clients, detained on Tuesday and Wednesday in a residential district of Nairobi, had not been formally charged and bail had been requested.

“We will also continue to proactively cooperate with Kenyan police to carry out the investigation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “The initial determination is that this could be a telecommunications fraud case.”

Reporting by Humphrey Malalo in Nairobi and Michael Martina in Beijing; Editing by Edmund Blair and Andrew Heavens

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