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Sh72m heist: KDF woman, three police officers arrested

Friday September 27 2019

Sh72 million heist

The money, believed to be part of the Sh72 million which was stolen from the Standard Chartered Bank and G4S in Lang’ata, Nairobi earlier this month, and which was recovered in Machakos over the weekend following a tip off that led to the arrest of three suspects. PHOTO | COURTESY 

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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A Kenya Defence Force (KDF) officer and three Administration Police constables, who belong to the same family, have been arrested in connection to the Sh72 million StanChart ATM heist in Nairobi West.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said detectives acting on a tip-off arrested APs Simon Gichuhi Karuku and his wife AP Caroline Njeri Waithira in Thogoto, Kiambu County.

The detectives pounced on the couple at a lawyer’s office, where they had gone to apply for an anticipatory bond in connection with the theft.

On interrogation, police said, they led detectives to Mr Karuku’s sister, Eunice Wangari Karuku, a KDF officer based at the Kahawa Barracks, whom they had handed the money to.

“The KDF officer had left for Nyahururu for a burial ceremony,” police said.

ANOTHER SISTER

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Ms Wangari directed them to pick the money from her sister, Florence Wanjiru Karuku, who is also an AP officer. Ms Wanjiru was guarding a nearby Equity Bank ATM in Nairobi West at the time the cash was stolen.

When the detectives found her, she informed them that as soon as she got the bag of money, she gave it to her boyfriend, identified as James Macharia, who escaped with it to an unknown destination.

Detectives also impounded a Toyota Mark X car, registration number KBX 779R from Ms Wangari, which they believe, was bought using proceeds from the heist.

The four are being held at the Lang'ata Police Station as detectives hunt for Mr Macharia who is believed to be in possession of the bag of cash.

THE ROBBERY

The robbery which occurred on September 5 was conducted by people whom the guards said, “were dressed in Administration Police uniform,” as G4S employees delivered the money at the ATM.

The G4S guards had transported the cash from their headquarters in Industrial Area to the Standard Chartered Bank in Nairobi West, which is only three kilometres away.

Statements from the G4S employees indicate that they thought the thieves were police officers assigned to escort the cash.

The robbers packed the money amounting to Sh72 million in 13 bags, loaded it into a waiting car and sped off.

ARRESTS

Just days after the theft, police arrested two police constables, Chris Ayienda Machogu and Vincent Owuor, who were found in possession of Sh7 million, believed to be part of the stolen cash. They also recovered a vehicle.

On Monday, September 16, DCI detectives recovered Sh1 million at a cowshed in Lurambi, Kakamega County and arrested a G4S employee Bernard Sewanga who had gone into hiding after the theft.

On the same day, another team of detectives recovered Sh2.3 million inside the house of a 60-year-old woman, Mary Kyalo, in Machakos county. Her grandson, Bernard Mwendwa was also arrested.

Other suspects who have been arrested include Musa Rajab, Abraham Mwangi Njoroge, Ascar Kemunto, Dancun Luvuka, Wilfred Nyambane, Natahn Njiru, Danmark Magembe, Boniface Mutua, Alexander Mutuku, and Francis Muriuki.