LIVESTOCK THEFT SYNDICATE

Two matatus ferrying 47 stolen sheep held in Machakos

Police laid an ambush on the two vehicles but the occupants abandoned the second matatu and escaped on foot.

In Summary
  • Daniel Mukunzi was nabbed while ferrying the animals suspected to have been stolen from Malili in Makueni county early Friday morning.
  • Police said there was rampant goats and sheep theft within the subcounty.
Daniel Mukunzi, the driver of one of the matatus impounded while ferrying stolen sheep and goats at Kyumbi police station in Athi River, Machakos county, on February 19
Daniel Mukunzi, the driver of one of the matatus impounded while ferrying stolen sheep and goats at Kyumbi police station in Athi River, Machakos county, on February 19
Image: GEORGE OWITI
Athi River subcounty police commander George Kashimiri counting stolen sheep recovered from two matatus impounded along Mombasa highway at Kyumbi police station in Machakos county on February 19.
Athi River subcounty police commander George Kashimiri counting stolen sheep recovered from two matatus impounded along Mombasa highway at Kyumbi police station in Machakos county on February 19.
Image: GEORGE OWITI
Vehicles in which the stolen sheep and goats were being ferried impounded at Kyumbi police station in Machakos County on February 19.
Vehicles in which the stolen sheep and goats were being ferried impounded at Kyumbi police station in Machakos County on February 19.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

A driver was arrested, two matatus impounded and 47 sheep and two goats recovered in Athi River, Machakos county.

Daniel Mukunzi was nabbed while ferrying the animals suspected to have been stolen from Malili in Makueni county early Friday morning.

He was arrested after the vehicles were intercepted by officers from Kyumbi police station, 100 metres from the station along Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

Athi River subcounty police commander George Kashimiri said police laid an ambush on the two vehicles but the occupants  abandoned the second matatu and escaped on foot.

"Today at 3am, we impounded two vehicles service vehicles ferrying 47 sheep and two goats stolen from their owner's home in Malili, Makueni county, next to Konza City. When they were flagged down by our officers at a roadblock mounted along Mombasa road at Kyumbi, Machakos county, but they defied the orders," Kashimiri said.

He addressed reporters at Kyumbi police station on Friday. "The occupants of the second vehicle all escaped. One driver was arrested and is in lawful custody waiting to be arraigned. These are the people who are disturbing us here."

Kashimiri said there was rampant goats and sheep theft within the subcounty.

The two vehicles KAR 214W belonging to NASAMKI Sacco and KBW 460N belonging to NAKAMATA Sacco have been impounded at Kyumbi police station.

NASAMKI Sacco manager Lillian Theuri said the impounded matatu doesn't belong to their sacco.

"The owner of that matatu is trading with our name but it's not among our fleet. It doesn't have a TLB number. We earlier registered complaints in Athi River and Embakasi police stations alongside NTSA," Theuri told the Star by phone on Friday.

Theuri said there were many such cases of vehicles which were not among their fleet operating with their sacco's name.

She said as a sacco, they were not aware of the vehicle's owner.

Kashimiri said it was suspected that the groups was part of the syndicate of thugs who hacked a 62-year-old watchman to death at a private ranch at Daystar village in Athi River and stole 102 goats on February 15. Only 30 goats were recovered.

Kashimiri warned those behind the syndicate that police will deal with them mercilessly.

"It will be history, we will end the crime. Our officers have been advised to be more vigilant, no vehicles will operate within the subcounty after curfew hours and all vehicles must be searched," Kashimiri said.

Kashimiri advised those owning livestock in the subcounty to be careful on those they entrust with taking care of them.

He said they should assign their close relatives or family members to manage the livestock, stating that some of their employees were part of the theft syndicate.

"Those who own livestock should not leave their ranches without assigning their family members or close relatives. Those who take care of the goats or sheep collude with the thieves in the theft. They later claim that they were attacked and tied or beaten during the incidences and livestock stolen."

He said the arrested driver had earlier successfully ferried 28 goats stolen from another home in Malili to Kiamaiako market in Nairobi. The driver confessed to transporting the goats sometime last month.

"This was his second trip, last month he ferried 28 stolen goats from a neighbuoring home in Malili to Kiamaiako market and they were all slaughtered."

The police boss warned PSV vehicles owners against letting their vehicles to be used in ferrying stolen livestock, goods and generally comitting crime.

He urged the public to be more vigilant and report to police officers or other relevant authorities any cases of crime or suspicious activities in the region.

Edited by Henry Makori