IMPERSONATION

Fake cop arrested while conducting night patrols in Langata

The suspect donned in fatigues belonging to the Administration Police Service and had been impersonating a policeman

In Summary

•Detectives suspect that he is part of a gang, who pose as police officers and betray the trust of unsuspecting members of the public by defrauding and stealing from them.

•Cases of impersonation are on the rise in the country amid operations to contain them.

Image: COURTESY

A fake policeman was over the weekend arrested in full police uniform while conducting self-assigned night patrols in Lang'ata area, Nairobi. 

The suspect donned in fatigues belonging to the Administration Police Service and had been impersonating a policeman.

Detectives suspect that he is part of a gang, who pose as police officers and betray the trust of unsuspecting members of the public by defrauding and stealing from them.

Police said the 40-year-old man was arrested on Friday midnight which was past curfew hours while conducting his normal patrols and issuing orders to locals.

He was alone then which was unusual to find a lone police officer on duty which drew the attention of police who were on patrol.

“The 40-year-old was arrested Friday night past curfew hours, as he walked around the Southlands suburbs, pretending to be offering public safety and security services,” the DCI said.

Lang’ata police boss Benjamin Mwanthi said he will be arraigned to answer to charges of being in unlawful possession of government stores contrary to Section 324 (2)  and impersonating a police officer contrary to Section 101 (1) (b) of the National Police Service Act.

He had among others been obtaining money from unsuspecting locals. It is not clear how long he has been operating in the same manner.

Cases of impersonation are on the rise in the country amid operations to contain them.

This comes in the wake of revelation by police obtaining money by pretense, bank fraud and land fraud are the three leading economic crimes reported to the DCI in the last three years.

The actual extent of the fraud has however not been established due to under-reporting, and in some cases, failure to report such crimes to the police.

According to a report compiled by the DCI, such crimes were underreported and in some cases not reported in good time thus negatively affecting effective investigations.

Bank fraud cases decreased from 551 in 2019 to 326 last year, obtaining money by pretense from 2708 in 2019 to 1550 last year,  while land fraud cases decreased from 1123 to 960 over the same period.

In 2018, a total of 2406 cases of obtaining money by pretenses were reported to the DCI.

A total of 1451 cases were taken to court and out of that 139 cases were dismissed while another 73 were also dismissed due to lack of evidence.

According to the report, some victims or the affected parties were reluctant to report due to business risks in their endeavour to save their brand names and business image.

It identifies the fear of adverse publicity, embarrassment and shying off in the court process as some of the challenges the DCI was facing in investigating such crimes.

The DCI says some of the emerging economic crimes, which are recognized in some jurisdictions were yet to be domesticated in Kenya, posing another challenge especially in a country where criminals are adept at exploiting loopholes in regulations.

Crypto-currency, bitcoins and cases with cyber angle, according to the report, sometimes appear too technical for the court officials who may not adequately appreciate the matters raised.

“Players in the Criminal Justice system seem not to read from the same script in technical issues,” the report reads.

 

 

Edited Kiilu Damaris