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3 Busia policemen cleared after arrest over fake currency

Thursday September 12 2019

Fake new currency notes Murang'a

Some of the fake new currency notes that were seized by police in Murang'a on July 16, 2019. In Busia County on September 11, 2019, three police officers were cleared of wrongdoing after fake currency was seized. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GAITANO PESSA
By GAITANO PESSA
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Police in Busia County have absolved their colleagues of any wrongdoing following their short detention for allegedly having fake currency.

Joseph Kahindi Katsungu, Alex Rasto Kiplimo and Ayub Waitiki Ng’ang’a are based at Busia Central Police Station.

They were apprehended on Tuesday afternoon as they were about to cross the border into Uganda, dressed in civilian attire.

ALTERCATION

Police on patrol, who had been tipped off, trailed their black Toyota car and stopped them before they crossed over.

Upon inspection of the vehicle, two firearms and $410,000 and Sh2,500 in fake currency were found.

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In addition, Mr Ng’ang’a was found with a CZE_07 pistol serial number C246921 without a magazine and Sh 2,300 while Mr Kiplimo was found with a CZE_07 pistol serial number C195090 with 15 rounds of ammunition, and Sh 4,600.

The police officers resisted arrest and engaged in an altercation with their colleagues, attracting members of the public who scrambled for the fake currency.

After the dust settled, they headed to Busia Police Station for identification.

POLICE REPORT

On Wednesday, County Police Commander John Nyoike told the Nation that it had been established that the officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had been on a mission to bust a fake money syndicate that had duped many in the Western region.

“We have established that they were following links to find people involved in money laundering within Busia. The fake currency was to be used to nab those engaging in money laundering at the border,” said Mr Nyoike.

He explained that the commotion that ensued resulted from the trio’s failure to identify themselves.

“The officers who were on patrol were not aware of their presence in Busia. They had no other option but to obey the order to avail themselves at the station for identification and tell us their mission in Busia.”

Pressed to explain why the officers failed to send a signal to their colleagues in Busia as is the norm, considering that they were working outside their station, Mr Nyoike said, "Signals are sent by officers whenever they are on a mission in an area beyond their jurisdiction.

"But sometimes we allow them to report while already on the ground to avoid cases of information leakage that may undermine an operation."