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Man, wife arrested as police profile 350 suspects over Kerio Valley banditry

Rift Valley regional coordinator Maalim Mohammed said those profiled will have to be arrested.

In Summary

•This came as the government announced that it had profiled more than 350 people suspected to be linked to banditry in the Kerio Valley region.

•Rift Valley regional coordinator Maalim Mohammed said those profiled will have to be arrested and dealt with as per the law.

Some of the weapons recovered in Elgeyo Marakwet being displayed on June 16, 2022- NPS
Some of the weapons recovered in Elgeyo Marakwet being displayed on June 16, 2022- NPS

A man and his wife have been arrested in Kerio Valley after they were found in possession of 76 rounds of ammunition and empty magazines for AK 47 and G-3 rifles among other items.

This came as the government announced that it had profiled more than 350 people suspected to be linked to banditry in the Kerio Valley region.

Rift Valley regional coordinator Maalim Mohammed said those profiled will have to be arrested and dealt with as per the law.

“Those engaging in criminal acts like banditry in Kerio Valley should either surrender or we will get them at all costs and using all means possible. Banditry must be stopped," Maalim said.

He said a major security operation to restore lasting security in the region was underway.

More than 110 people have so far been killed by bandits in the region within the last six months.

The National Police Service (NPS) said that on Sunday 19th June 2022, officers conducted an intelligence-led operation in the home of Abraham Kiptum located in Kaben Village, Kaben Location, Tot Division, Marakwet East Sub-County.

A statement from the service said the officers recovered several items including 76 rounds of ammunition, seven empty magazines of AK-47, four empty magazines of G-3, one AK- 47 pouch and one side pouch.

Other items recovered included two ankle shirts, one jungle green lanyard, banned industrial chemical namely Furon 5GR, one APS member of inspectorate pullover, one Green jungle trouser, 43 arrows, seven bows, three quivers and assorted personal items.

The security team arrested Abraham Kiptum and Brandon Kilimo and escorted them together with the recovered items to Tot Police Station awaiting further necessary police action.

“NPS lauds members of the public for being vigilant and passing information to security agencies, we urge them to continue cooperating with security officers in the spirit of community policing in order to completely restore peace and security in the area," the NPS statement said.

The security operation follows a visit to the region two weeks ago by Interior CS Fred Matiangi.

Matiang'i said the government would carry out what he termed as a painful operation to rid the region of banditry.

“We cannot accept to have people who have the guts to mercilessly kill innocent children”, Matiangi said.

Maalim said the government would not relent and that all those possessing illegal guns must surrender them or face the wrath of the state.

So far more than 24 guns have been recovered in the ongoing operations.