Lorry seized in Bomet carried licenced explosives, police say

Wednesday March 18 2020

The truck which had been seized by police in Bomet after it was found with explosive chemicals. Police have now released it after the owners produced a valid permit showing that the explosives were to be used in quarry work. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Police in Bomet have released a truck that was impounded last Friday with 1,750 kilogrammes of explosives and 50 detonators after it was confirmed that they were not meant for terror-related activities as earlier claimed.

It was earlier feared that the chemicals were intended for use in a terror attack in Nairobi with police being put on high alert.

But police now say the Department of Mines and Geology has confirmed and provided evidence showing that the transporter had been licensed to transport the consignment from Nairobi to Kericho for use in a quarry.


On Friday night, 1,750 kilogrammes of ammonium nitrate and 50 detonators were seized by police during an operation by security officers in Kyogong along the Narok-Bomet highway.

The Isuzu lorry, registration number KBT 779Y, belonging to Nitro Chemicals Company Limited, was impounded during the operation, Bomet County Police Commander Naomi Ichami had confirmed.

Police had suspected that the explosives were on transit from Western Kenya to Nairobi for terror activities.

As soon as the lorry was impounded, Police Spokesman Charles Owino said security officers had foiled a number of attacks in various stages of planning and execution as a result of intelligence information gathered by various arms of government.


“Acting on information from members of the public to various arms of government, security officers have nipped in the bud planned attacks in the country. We have made a lot of progress in dealing with terror attacks,” Mr Owino had said.

He was flanked by county commanders Naomi Ichami (Bomet), Aden Yunis (Narok) and James Mugera (Kericho) when he spoke at Bomet University College during a meeting with sub-county and ward commanders in the three counties.

But the transporting company produced a permit showing that it had been allowed to transport the ammonium nitrate and detonators from Nairobi to Kericho for use in a quarry.


Ms Ichami confirmed that the truck had been released after confirmation from the Mines and Geology department that it had given the owners a valid license and permit to transport the items.

“The owner of the truck has provided the necessary documentation allowing us to release the truck for the onward journey to the quarry located in Ainamoi area of Kericho County,” said Ms Ichami who was flanked by the County Criminal Investigations Officer Jacob Muli.


Following the verification of the documents, the driver of the lorry who had also been arrested was released from police custody, according to the county commander.

“The blasting explosives were intended for use by Crawler Rig Contractors at Gokul quarry in Kericho County,” said Mr Peter Karue, speaking on behalf of the company shortly after the vehicle was released.

He said the vehicle is owned by Crawler Rig Contractors while the chemicals and the detonators were sourced from Nitro Chemicals in Nairobi.

“We have sorted the issues with the police and cleared the air concerning its (truck) use. It was not meant for any criminal activities as the impression had earlier been created,” said Mr Karue.