CON ARTISTS WARNED

City Hall to crack down on 'pata potea' street gamblers

The security and compliance department begins an operation to weed out con artists in the CBD

In Summary

• Areas targeted in the crackdown in the CBD include Luthuli Avenue, Khoja, Kenya Cinema, the National Archives, Ronald Ngala and the OTC bus station

• Director for security and compliance Joseph Kipsang said the county is determined to reduce muggings, which have spiked in recent months

Crowd gathers around a group selling coupons and offer tickets on Moi Avenue
Crowd gathers around a group selling coupons and offer tickets on Moi Avenue
Image: COURTESY

The Nairobi administration has said it will crack down on street gamblers following increasing reports of fraud and extortion

Inspectorate officers led by the security and compliance department on Thursday began an operation to weed out con artists within and outside the Central Business District.

 

Areas targeted in the crackdown in the CBD include Luthuli Avenue, Khoja, Kenya Cinema, the National Archives, Ronald Ngala and the OTC bus station

Director for security and compliance Joseph Kipsang said the county is determined to reduce muggings, which have spiked in recent months.

“We have written to the trade department to cancel the licences of street gamblers and we are calling on our officers to arrest them as well,” he said.

Six people have been arrested in connection to street gambling.  

Kipsang said those arrested have been violating terms and conditions of their licenses and resorted to conning unsuspecting clients of their hard-earned cash.

“Some of them have licenses indicating they are vendors or single business permits only to turn into con artists. They apply for licenses indicating that they are venturing into business only to end up robbing people on the streets,” he said.

 

Women and youths are the biggest victims in the well-choreographed con game. 

 

At the same time, security and compliance chief officer Patrick Mwakio has warned of stern action agaisnt street muggers and criminals in the CBD.

He pledged to work together with the police officers to ensure that crime in the CBD is eliminated.

“We have to ensure we have continued safety on our streets. This is a serious undertaking. We must weed these characters out of the CBD and its environs," Mwakio said.

He also dismissed reports that City Hall officers are working with police officers to protect street cons and muggers.

Mwakio called on wananchi who are aware of any officer working with street gamblers to report them.

“It will be unfortunate if that is the case, but I have no doubt that none of our officers is involved in such activities at all,” Mwakio said.