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Ugandan among suspects charged with theft of Uhuru Kenyatta's escort car

Monday September 8 2014

President Kenyatta’s escort car after its arrival at Nairobi Police Headquarters on September 5, 2014 from Uganda where it was recovered. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Kenyatta’s escort car after its arrival at Nairobi Police Headquarters on September 5, 2014 from Uganda, where it was recovered. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VINCENT AGOYA
By VINCENT AGOYA
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Five people, including a Ugandan national and a Nakuru mechanic, were on Monday charged with the theft of President Uhuru Kenyatta's escort car.

The five were also charged with robbing Chief Inspector of Police David Machui of the BMW 735 vehicle on August 26 in Utawala, Nairobi.

All the suspects denied the charge that they dishonestly handled and undertook the disposal of the motor vehicle, with registration number KAW 479 Y.

The vehicle has an alternative registration of GK A 374 E.

Each suspect was released on a Sh5 million bond, except one of them who was said to have a separate case pending in Kayole, Nairobi.

The Ugandan, Robert Mande Ochan, was ordered to deposit an additional cash bail of Sh2 million, with two Kenyan sureties.

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The vehicle was recovered in Kampala and was brought back to Nairobi on Friday.

PART OF A SYNDICATE

Chief Inspector Machui was driving the vehicle before the gangsters carjacked him.

The gangsters, who snatched the car at gunpoint, are suspected to be part of a syndicate with operatives in Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda.

The syndicate consists of armed gangsters, corrupt customs officials, car dealers and mechanics, police said.

Ugandan police recovered the stolen escort car after the suspect’s girlfriend lured him into a trap at Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb near Makerere University.

Questions have been raised about how Inspector Machui was allowed to drive a government vehicle to his house when procedures dictate that government vehicles be parked at the nearest police station or DC’s, DO’s or chief’s office.

In this case, presidential escort vehicles are regularly parked at State House or at the unit’s quarters in Highridge.