Africa

Kenyan jailed for trying to sell albino

Albino people in a safe haven in Tanzania, 01/09
Image caption In Tanzania, albino body parts are believed to bring wealth or health

A court in Tanzania has sentenced a Kenyan accused of trying to sell an albino to 17 years in jail and a fine of more than $50,000 (£41,200).

The court sentenced Nathan Mutei after he pleaded guilty to human trafficking.

Police said they arrested Mutei in a sting operation as he tried to sell an albino fellow Kenyan for the equivalent of more than $250,000.

Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with witch-doctors claiming they have special powers.

The albino, Robinson Mkwama, is being escorted home to Kenya with a police guard, the BBC's Eric Nampesya reports from Tanzania.

Mutei, 28, was arrested just outside the town of Mwanza.

In the sting operation, which was announced on Tuesday, police pretended to be businessmen buying albino body parts.

The regional police commander, Simon Siro, told the BBC that Mr Mutei had tricked Mr Mkwama, 20, into believing he would secure a job in Tanzania as a lorry driver's assistant.

In Tanzania, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them rich or healthy.

Dozens of albinos have been killed, and the killings have spread to neighbouring Burundi.

Tanzanian authorities have promised to crack down on albino traffickers, and several people have been sentenced to death in connection with killings.

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