Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet has denied reports that police officers at the Kenya-Somalia border were bribed to let terrorists into the country.
According to a United Nations report, Kenyan security forces accepted bribes from the terrorists in order to allow five suicide bombers to enter the country in February.
According to the UN report, investigations into a foiled attack in February 2018 revealed that Al-Shabaab operatives crossed the Kenya-Somalia border five times in three months, detected but unobstructed, by giving Sh2,000 bribes to security forces.
But speaking Sunday in Mombasa, Mr Boinnet said reports of police being bribed were “close distortion and exaggeration of the UN report”, adding that “the report was based on the accounts given to the UN by our officers”.
“It has nothing at all of what was depicted by that newspaper. Those kinds of headlines do not help anybody at all but the enemy. The truth of the matter is we worked extremely hard and we do so willingly to protect and secure our people,” said Mr Boinnet in reaction to a Daily Nation report that exposed the “disturbing side of the police”.
The IG further said that the interception of a vehicle which was carrying explosives in Merti, Isiolo County was “not by chance.”
Police had, during a routine patrol in Merti in February, arrested two suspected Al-Shabaab operatives — Abdimajit Hasan Adan and Mohammed Nanne Osman — as they drove the vehicle laden with bombs intended for a complex attack in Nairobi, which the UN says would have been the most significant Al-Shabaab attack outside Somalia since the Garissa University College massacre of April 2015.
“The interception of the vehicle in Merti was not something that happened by chance. There was a lot of background work done by a number of agencies to ensure the vehicle does not cross and we got it,” said Mr Boinnet.
The UN notes that, in all of Adan’s and Nanne’s numerous journeys back and forth across the porous Kenya-Somalia border, they seemed not to encounter any resistance from Kenyan security forces manning the border.
If they did, they did not reveal that information to the interrogating officers in Nairobi after they were arrested.
But Mr Boinnet noted that security agents are committed to securing the country’s borders, adding that a number of terrorist plots have been foiled.
“I can say that with confidence. We in the security sector together with the public have done very well in foiling tens of plots targeting Kenyans and we are committed to this course,” added Mr Boinnet.
Mr Boinnet said the launching of Kenya Coast Guard Services (KCGS) will boost maritime security.
“The multi-agency service will bring together a number of security agents together which is of benefit to the security of our ocean,” said Mr Boinnet.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will officially launch the special force at Liwatoni in Mombasa on Monday.