14 foreigners deported when SportPesa offices raided

Kenyan Interior Secretary Fred Matiang'i has signed a deportation order for 14 foreigners allegedly involved in illegal gambling in the country.

Most of those arrested are employees of the sports betting operator SportPesa and come mainly from Eastern Europe.

They have been arrested at three different offices in Nairobi and will be deported to their countries for offenses that include illegal gambling activities as well as operating without legal work permits.

The announcement came after SportPesa's offices were attacked earlier this week by a number of government and police agencies seeking documents relating to the company's recently resumed betting operation.

SportPesa is currently involved in a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the government from suspending operations in Kenya.

Earlier this month, Matiang'i reinforced the government's zero-tolerance policy for non-compliant bookmakers and gambling companies, saying, “We are not going back to a decision we made as a government. The Kenyans can be calm, absolutely on this point. "

SportPesa was one of 19 operators whose licenses were suspended in 2019 as a result of a tax refund dispute with the Kenyan tax office.

However, the brand returned to the market in October 2020 as part of Milestone Games Limited, a new company that has been licensed by the Kenya Betting Control and Licensing Commission (BCLB). This license has already been revoked.

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