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Kenyan Man in UK jailed for 15 Years for Stealing Jewelry Worth £442,000

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A 38-year-old Kenyan-born man was on Friday handed a 15 and a half year extended prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to stealing jewelry worth £442,000 from a shop in North Yorkshire.

Victor Okumu, of Queen Street, Lazenby, Cleveland was sentenced to 10 and half years in prison plus five years extended license by York Crown Court Judge Sean Morris after he admitted robbing Bradley’s Jewelers in Northallerton.

The judge said the incident was a “planned, sophisticated, commercial robbery” which Okumu had planned for months.

“The people in the shop were terrified,” Judge Morris said, adding that Okumu was a “very dangerous” man who took whatever he wanted.

Okumu allegedly entered the jewelry shop on March 11th, 2019 wearing a blue boiler suit and crash helmet with the visor down. He had reportedly been planning the robbery for eight months.

Police said he wedged the door open and pushed a box into an attendant before jumping over the counter. Okumu then took jewelry from the window display and left.

Okumu spent the following days traveling between Middleborough, Northallerton, London, and Darlington trying to evade police.

Upon reviewing CCTV footage, police discovered the suspect carried out reconnaissance of the jewelry shop on previous days.

He was trailed and arrested at a hotel in Fareham, Hampshire on March 16th, 2019. He was found with rings from the jewelry shop worth £212,000.

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“This was a professionally executed and violent robbery which was a truly terrifying ordeal for both the staff members involved and the members of the public who were in close proximity to the jewelers as it took place,” said acting Detective Inspector Matthew Wilkinson of North Yorkshire Police.

“Okumu carried out extensive reconnaissance and careful planning in the period leading up to the day of the robbery and went to great lengths in the days after the incident to cover his tracks, thinking he was safe by hiding a significant distance away from the region.”

In 2009, Appeal court judges recommended that Okumu be deported to Kenya at the end of a 13-year sentence for robbing a woman in her own home.

Okumu, however, remained in the UK after his release on March 20th, 2014.

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Diaspora

US Government Announces Eligible countries for H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs in 2020 and Kenya is not among them

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), have announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in 2020. The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 17, 2020.

For 2020, the acting secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, that the countries designated as eligible in 2019 will remain unchanged.

DHS maintains its authority to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country whenever DHS and DOS determine that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation. Examples of factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include fraud, abuse, denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and other forms of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs by nationals of that country.

The H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively. Typically, USCIS approves H-2A and H-2B petitions only for nationals of countries that the secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs.

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However, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions, including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

Effective Jan. 19, 2020, nationals of the following countries are eligible to receive H-2A and H-2B visas:

Andorra Finland Malta Serbia
Argentina France Moldova* Singapore
Australia Germany Mozambique Slovakia
Austria Greece Mexico Slovenia
Barbados Grenada Monaco Solomon Islands
Belgium Guatemala Mongolia South Africa
Brazil Honduras Montenegro South Korea
Brunei Hungary Nauru Spain
Bulgaria Iceland The Netherlands St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Canada Ireland Nicaragua Sweden
Chile Israel New Zealand Switzerland
Colombia Italy Norway Taiwan**
Costa Rica Jamaica Panama Thailand
Croatia Japan Paraguay* Timor-Leste
Czech Republic Kiribati Papua New Guinea Tonga
Denmark Latvia Peru Turkey
Dominican Republic* Liechtenstein Poland Tuvalu
Ecuador Lithuania Portugal Ukraine
El Salvador Luxembourg Romania United Kingdom
Estonia North Macedonia Samoa Uruguay
Fiji Madagascar San Marino Vanuatu

*Moldova, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic are eligible to participate in the H-2A program, but they are not eligible to participate in the H-2B program.

**Regarding all references to “country” or “countries” in this document, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that “[w]henever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1).

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Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the regulations governing whether nationals of a country are eligible for H-2 program participation, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(i) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(1), are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.

This notice does not affect the status of H-2 beneficiaries who currently are in the United States unless they apply to extend their status. It does apply to nonimmigrants changing status in the United States to H-2A or B. Each country’s designation is valid, subject to removal for failure to meet the requirements for continued designation, from Jan. 19, 2020, until Jan. 18, 2021.

For more information on these programs, see the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers and H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers pages on our website.

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Kenyans in the diaspora sent home ksh280 billion in 2019 

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By JUDITH GICOBI

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) new annual record in 2019, Kenyans living and working abroad sent home approximately $2.7 billion (KSh280 billion).

The amount shows a 3.7 percent growth compared to the previous year, whose remittances roughly $2.6 billion (KSh272.3 billion). The lowest remittance was in 2015.

A weekly report bulleting from CBK that was released on Friday shows money sent by Kenyans in the diaspora increase to $250.3 million (KSh25.2 billion) in December 2019. An increase from $218.8 million (KSh22 billion) in November. 

Kenyans in North America accounted for the most substantial part of the remittance in December at 50 percent. Following closely was Europe at 20 percent and 30 percent from the rest of the world.

However, the 2019 total remittances did not meet the World bank’s target of Sh285.5 billion. The target amount would have achieved a five percent growth. “The rate of growth of remittance inflows will rise by just 5 percent compared to a 39 percent growth between 2017 and 2018,’’ World Bank said in December.

World Bank sees the reduced growth in diaspora remittances is due to the increasing economic concerns in the US and the United Kingdom, where a recession may be setting in despite strong employment data.

”With the world slipping into a recession, it is feared that remittance inflows may suffer as companies’ layoff staff in the developed world even as employers and employees adopt austerity measures,” World Bank’s report said.

READ ALSO:   Dad to Atlanta-based Kenyan dies of heart attack while attending graduation
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Diaspora

Miguna Miguna urges Kenyans in diaspora to stage protest against Uhuru as he visits the UK

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Kenyan-Canadian lawyer, Miguna Miguna, is urging Kenyans in the United Kingdom to partake in a protest against President Kenyatta as he plans to visit the country this week.

Miguna, through his twitter page on Saturday, addressed his supporters, asking them to stage a protest where President Kenyatta will be staying during his visit to the UK. The protest is to demand that the president obeys court rules requiring the government to allow him to enter the country. 

“Red Alert! Notice to all Patriots in London! Uhuru Kenyatta will be in London, UK, from January 20, 2020,” wrote Miguna.

He added: “He will be shuttling between the Town House located at 66 Lowndes Square, Kensington, and 10 Downing Street. Find him. Show him that No One is Above the Law!” 

The president is set to attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London from Monday, January 20th, former Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma confirmed.

“Arrived in London, ahead of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta who, at the invitation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will join other leaders for the Africa-UK investment summit on 20th January 2020,” Dr. Juma wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Miguna is currently stuck in Germany after his return to Kenya on January 7 th was rendered impossible by the Kenyan Government that issued a red alert warning airlines not to fly Miguna to Kenya or any African nation. 

READ ALSO:   Another dark day for Kenya as ex-PS, Diplomat dies
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