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December 15, 2018

Police implicated in Eastleigh shopping malls robberies

A street in Eastleigh Nairobi. Photo/File
A street in Eastleigh Nairobi. Photo/File

Elite anti-violent crime fighting units have raised concerns about robbers of Somali ethnicity in the recent burglaries targeting malls in Eastleigh. This comes after initial reports revealed that police officers are involved.

Investigations by Flying Squad and Special Crime Prevention Unit have established that nine people, a majority of them police officers are behind the spate of violent robberies.

Most of the officers are from Wajir and target premises owned by Degodia businessmen from Wajir. Reportedly police officers, some attached to Starehe Police division under whose jurisdiction Eastleigh shopping centre falls are not making investigations any easier for the elite crime busting units.

Two police officers, namely Mohamed Kanyare Billow and Kahiya Mohamed Omar attached to the General Service Unit (GSU) and Administration Police were arraigned in court in late August following a robbery at United Mall within Eastleigh.

In the process of investigating the robbery in which millions of shillings and over 1.7 kgs of gold were stolen, Flying Squad detectives established that nine people including police officers were part of the gang and each of them received Sh 900,000 as proceeds apart from what they were to expect from the sale of the gold.

On the material day of the arrest of the two officers, one of the police officers, who is attached to Starehe Police Division and is said to have been the lookout when the robbery was happening, got impatient and followed one of the accomplices to a five star hotel within the Central Business District demanding for his share.

A driver and a colleague all who were police officers accompanied him. The police officer demanded more than his share because he was to split it with the two colleagues who had accompanied him.

He attempted to grab the money and a bag containing the gold, which had been brought to the hotel for sale. It is during the scuffle that he realised that all was captured on CCTV. In panic he pulled out his walkie-talkie and a report claiming that he had arrested robbery suspects.

Alarmed that an officer with a Starehe call sign was out of his jurisdiction saying he had made an arrested, a team of Flying Squad officers sped to the five star hotel. They arrived just as the police officer was walking out with the bag containing the stolen gold and money.

The officer left the suspect behind and drove off to Pangani police station where he locked himself and his seniors in an office for more than five hours. The elite team detectives were concerned that the Pangani based police officer was only interested in the gold and money and left behind a robbery with violence suspect who could have escaped had it not been for the Flying Squad officers.

The Flying Squad officers proceeded to arrest the suspect at the hotel and another at the GSU headquarters. They arrived at the Pangani Police station to find the first officer still in the room with his bosses.

Frustrated, Flying Squad officers went back to their headquarters and filed their report only to be asked by CID headquarters to process and prosecute the case.

The gold and recovered money was only booked into the Occurrence Book (OB) 24 hours after it was supposedly recovered. This made it difficult to ascertain the quantity recovered.

On September 14, 2015 four armed thugs raided another shopping mall within Eastleigh.

The robbers broken into Sunrise Mall at around 3 am but police were alerted by an alarm and cordoned off the area trapping the robbers. One of the robbers was arrested, while three others escaped.

Armed gangsters yet again raided a shopping mall in Eastleigh market and killed two guards before carting away goods worth millions of shillings in the latest daring robbery on the night of Wednesday November 25, 2015.

Two night guards manning the Bangkok Shopping Mall were on Wednesday night brutally murdered after they reportedly resisted attempts by a gang of robbers to forcefully enter the shopping mall. The guards were bludgeoned to death with blunt objects. Their blood was splattered all over the first and third floors where their bodies were recovered. Interestingly, no one seems to have heard the guards scream for help as their attackers took time to kill them.

Police believe that the guards Ahmed and Said must have declined to conspire with the robbers in the heist, which resulted in their death.

The guards’ colleagues who were supposed to relieve the deceased reported that they found the door to the shopping mall open and on getting in found the two dead and their mobile phones stolen.

According to the Flying Squad boss Said Kiprono, stalls C39, C25, C24 and C28 had been broken into and cash of unknown value stolen.

Kiprono said that they suspect that it is the same gang of criminals who have been raiding shopping malls in Eastleigh and in complicity with guards stealing goods before escaping.

A team of detectives has been assembled to investigate and track the daring criminals.

There are fears that the spate of robberies and burglaries, which seem to be targeting businesses owned or run by members of a specific clan from Wajir might spark inter-clan clashes.

Flying Squad officers have yet again been called in to investigate the latest robbery, which was more brutal and cold blooded. It is suspected that the two night guards were bludgeoned to death by the attackers to send a message to other guards not to offer any resistance whenever the gang raids the shopping malls.

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