Three American medical students have been detained at a Migori hotel over unpaid bills amounting to Sh200,000 from their three week stay.
Ms Brooke Weiser, Ms Logan Key and Mr Ilya Frid were in the country for medical practice at St Joseph’s Mission Hospital Ombo in Western Kenya.
Gilly Hotel is said to have reached the decision following failure by their Kenyan agent to pay other bills owed to the business that have accrued to over Sh1 million over time.
LEFT A DEBT
Ms Brooke Weiser told Nation.co.ke that they had paid Mr Joshua Omollo before they came into the country.
“We paid Medics to Africa, being our agent in the country that was identified by the US Embassy in Nairobi; the other students in question came earlier on similar arrangements and went back on grounds that the agent would pay the bills,” said Ms Weiser.
One of the hotel’s officials Mr Oscar Omoga said the previous group left a debt of Sh870,000.
“We have detained them because we want to be paid…this is business not philanthropy,” said Mr Omoga.
LOCKED BY GUARDS
The hotel guards physically blocked them from leaving the premises.
The gates were then locked, a move that made the three students miss their return flight to the US.
Area police boss Alfred Makoma confirmed the incident and noted that the suspect has been arrested.
On Monday, Mr Omolo was arraigned at the Migori Magistrates Court where he was charged with issuing a bounced cheque of Sh300,000 to Ombo hospital which he denied.
He has been remanded at the Migori prisons having failed to raise a cash bail of Sh200,000 and bond of Sh500,000.
The police boss said the suspect would face charges of failing to pay hotel bills after investigations are complete.
“In the meantime, we are trying to secure the release of the students from the hotel because we already have the suspect in custody,” he added.
The Americans however protested saying the agent who booked them should be the only one held responsible.
“We never had any contract with the hotel; we were brought here by the agent who is well known to the hotel.
“Our continued detention here is illegal and reflects a bad image of the country internationally,” said Ms Key.