Alarm as more police officers turn into dangerous criminals

Sunday April 1 2018

A cap and a cane belonging to a police officer.

A cap and a cane belonging to a police officer. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FRED MUKINDA
By FRED MUKINDA
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The rot that has permeated the Kenyan police with officers donning the blue uniform and badge by day only to turn into dangerous criminals at night can be revealed.

At least 89 police officers have been arrested over the last six months for offences including murder, robberies, kidnapping, extortion, gunrunning and drug trafficking, among other serious crimes.

Other cases under investigation point at police involvement in livestock thefts in cattle rustling prone areas, due to the way raids and counter-offensive attacks were executed.

The attacks bore hallmarks of raiders conversant with “paramilitary” training, according to a senior officer familiar with the investigations.

The depth to which rogue officers have sunk has caused seniors to rethink new ways of reigning on the criminals in their rank and file.

FINED

A new unit has been formed to monitor movements and activities of all ex-police officers, especially those who were dismissed from the service dishonourably.

The Sunday Nation looked into cases that are pending before court and police stations that were reported and filed between October 2017 and March in which officers are listed as suspects.

The Crime Research Bureau is already in place at the Mazingira House, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters.

Among other tasks, the bureau will research, update and maintain a database of all known criminals in Kenya.

Ten specialists have been recruited and vetted for integrity, and posted to the unit.

MURDER

On March 17, a police constable and a corporal were arrested at the Kathelwa Administration Police camp, with orders by the Director of Public Prosecutions that the duo be charged with murder. The matter is pending in court.

And in one of the most recent cases, four police officers hired a taxi in Umoja estate, Nairobi, drove it to Makueni County and while there, moved from one business premise to another, while masquerading as inspectors from the National Environment Management Authority.

Traders who fell victim to the “inspectors,” ostensibly because their businesses did not meet Nema regulations, were forced to part with bribes before being released after they were arrested.

Detectives from Mukaa police division arrested the four and it’s only during interrogation that they discovered the suspects were their colleagues.

CONSTABLES

The suspects were identified as two constables attached to the General Service Unit training school in Embakasi, Nairobi, a constable stationed at the GSU headquarters in Ruaraka, Nairobi and a policewoman from Ortum Police Station in West Pokot County.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, barely three months in the job, was questioned by MPs about the menace.

Appearing before the  Mr Kinoti said he cannot deny that there are some rogue officers who are working with criminals.

He told parliamentary committee on national security and administration: “I cannot deny that some of our officers are colluding with criminals but I will deal with them.”

Rogue officers are also notorious for hiring out their official firearms and uniforms to criminals, who in turn use them to “arrest” and rob unsuspecting people.

BUSTED

One such offence was busted by Mr Ali Nuno, the deputy director of complaints at police headquarters.

He led a team of detectives from Nairobi’s Starehe division to Tosha Parcel Services in Eastleigh and intercepted a consignment that was to be delivered to Kainuk in Lodwar.

The luggage contained 10 pieces of police jungle rain coat.

Another case happened in Eldama Ravine.  A GSU officer who was deployed to guard the residence of deputy president William Ruto in Sugoi, left his station, prompting an investigation.

He was later charged in court, together with accomplices, with obtaining Sh529,000 “by false pretence.”