•Two people driving in the car escaped on foot after being trailed, pulled over
•Two lorries stolen from Uganda around the same time as the vehicle reported to have been sold here
A vehicle believed to have been stolen from Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has been recovered near Naivasha after five months of search by the police.
The dark blue Toyota Kluger was recovered on Thursday night at the Gilgil weighbridge. Two men found in the vehicle escaped on foot after officers from the Flying Squad, who trailed them from Murang’a, pulled them over.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is said to have been tipped about the theft by his Ugandan peer, is said to have been constantly pushing the police to recover the vehicle. It was not clear if the vehicle is privately owned or part of the presidential convoy.
“Since December, we have been tracing this vehicle but our efforts failed because the registration numbers have been changed. We were under a lot of pressure,” a senior officer attached to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu road said.
The vehicle bore Uganda registration numbers when it was reported missing five months ago. It has been fitted with new registration plates; SSD598M, which indicate it could have ‘originated’ from South Sudan.
The officers towed the vehicle to the Nairobi Flying Squad offices, where vehicle experts are expected to analyse the chassis and engine numbers to confirm if the details match those provided by the Ugandan police.
Head of Flying Squad Musa Yego could not be reached for comment yesterday as he did not return multiple calls by the Star. DCI chief George Kinoti also did not respond.
A police report on the incident seen by the Star stated that officers on patrol noted the vehicle near Gilgil.
“A chase ensued and the suspects abandoned the vehicle along the highway and disappeared into the bush,” the report reads.
On Friday, highly confidential sources familiar with the operation said officers from the Flying Squad received intelligence reports that the stolen vehicle had been spotted in Murang’a earlier in the week.
This prompted a major operation. Officers were deployed to parts of Murang’a town.
The sources who spoke strictly on condition of anonymity said police chiefs had been under intense pressure from President Kenyatta to recover the stolen vehicle.
The source said police were now tracing two lorries stolen from Uganda around the same time as the vehicle and sold in Kenya.
Police intelligence indicates that the two lorries could be in Murang’a or neighbouring Thika town.
On Friday evening, Interpol officers from the National Central Bureau were called in to help with the investigations.
The Interpol website does not have the latest statics on the number of stolen vehicles.
On its website, it stated that it has records of 3.3 million vehicles reported stolen from 96 member countries since 2005.
Last August, a vehicle believed to have been part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade was recovered in Tanzania. Two suspects were arrested by the police.
The car, a black Nissan V8 model, was intercepted at a police barrier in Boma Ng’ombe headed towards Kilimanjaro according to Tanzanian police.
It had the registration plates number T954 DEQ which police said were fake. The car’s original registration is said to have been KCP 184R.
In 2014, a BMW, part of the presidential fleet, was intercepted in Bungoma after it was reported stolen in Utawala. Police suspect the vehicle was being driven to Uganda.