The Sh14 million Barclays bank heist was an inside job, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti has revealed.
Speaking at the Coast police headquarters in Mombasa, Mr Kinoti, who was with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, said the incidents happened with the full knowledge of some people working for the bank.
“They know exactly what happened. The outsiders were just there to facilitate the operation, after which they go and share the money, but this time we will reveal to the public what happened,” he added.
This came as G4S, which maintains its off-site ATMs, distanced itself from the thefts, saying, it does not guard any of the ATM machines that lost cash.
In an email to the Nation, G4S said it was working closely with investigators to bring the culprits to book.
“The investigation is covering all potential angles and we are determined to ensure that all the culprits are brought to justice,” Mr Tim Malone, the firm’s media relations manager, said.
“G4S is not contracted to provide security guards at the locations of the ATMs that were targeted at any time of the day or night.
“The service that G4S provides to the customer at these locations is the replenishment of cash and first-line maintenance of the ATMs. We do not have access to any ATM software,” he said.
But Mr Kinoti said it is believed that someone was watching the CCTV for the thieves.
The DCI said that, given the precision and what was targeted in the robberies, it was clear that there was coordination from within.
For instance, the CCTV that was smeared with a substance by the robbers so they would not be seen was supposed to have triggered an alarm elsewhere.
“I do not know whether to call it robbery or not, but I cannot discuss much because the matter is still under investigation. But in due course we will give you the details of what exactly happened so that other institutions can learn,” he said.
Mr Kinoti said that the case would soon be handed over to Mr Haji for prosecution.
Linked to the theft
“We’re about to finish the case and hand it over to him [the DPP]. Very soon the DPP will issue a comprehensive statement and I request him to deal severely with this,” said Mr Kinoti
He said a number of people linked to the theft have so far been arrested and that more suspects were being sought.
Asked how many suspects had been arrested, Mr Kinoti said: “The matter is still under investigations and I do not wish to divulge more information but we have quite a number and we are using some of them to get more. I’m sure we are going to get more suspects.”
Among those arrested and taken for questioning on Monday were five employees from Barclays and G4S. They were later released.
Mr Patrick Nyoike Karanja, a suspect who was found with a car believed to have been used by the thieves, was yesterday produced before Kiambu Senior Resident Magistrate Brian Khaemba.
The DCI was allowed to detain him for seven days at the Kamukunji Police Station to facilitate further investigations.
Mr Nyoike will be the sixth suspect after officers from the DCI, who took over the case on Monday, detained five employees from the bank and G4S. They were arrested on Mama Ngina Street, where one of the affected ATMs if located.
A detective told the court in a sworn affidavit that the car Mr Karanja was found driving was the one used by the group behind the heist.
He added that they needed time to consult the National Transport and Safety Authority to determine the particulars of the car and who owns it.