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January 21, 2019

DCI detectives recover 26 tonnes of stolen tea leaves, nab three suspects

Part of the stolen tea bags at Kololeni Police Station on Friday, January 11, 2019. /ANDREW KASUKU
Part of the stolen tea bags at Kololeni Police Station on Friday, January 11, 2019. /ANDREW KASUKU

Kilifi DCI detectives on Friday recovered 26 tonnes of tea leaves which was part of a stolen consignment and arrested three suspects.

The three, a driver, a turn boy and a dealer were arrested while transporting the tea leaves in a Mitsubishi Canter KAZ 437G at Mariakani on Thursday.

The confiscated tea was in original packaging bags printed Koisagat Tea Factory while others were repackaged in sacks.

Police also recovered unprinted empty bags.

The three suspects were identified as Francis Kamau, Anthony Ikayo and Rashid Tsuma.

Speaking to the Star on Friday, Kaloleni DCIO Francis Kihara said the three stole the tea leaves after a truck transporting them overturned between Taru and Macknon Road along Nairobi-Mombasa highway in a stage-managed accident.

The driver of the truck is on the run.

Detectives are tracking another yellow canter with 30bags of the stolen tea which escaped the police dragnet.

Although the arrests were made on Thursday, Kihara believes the theft could have happened on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The truck was ferrying tea worth Sh 5.4 million, the owner told police.

The three were presented at Mariakani Law Courts after the arrest.

The court gave police five days to finalise with investigations.

They are being held at Kaloleni Police Station with the exhibit.

Kihara said the tea was destined for Mombasa but the origin is not yet known.

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