•Kilimani police head of the DCI Stephen Tanki said they took over the recovered items for safe custody as investigations go on.
•The team also found a firearm movement register and assorted firearm manuals.
Police on a security mission to enable an auctioneer to recover Sh4.9 million stumbled upon 22 assorted guns and more than 500 bullets in a shocking discovery.
The recovery was made at an office along Wood Avenue in Kilimani area, Nairobi, where a distressed man had his valuables put on auction for failing to pay the rent.
The Anti-Terror Police Unit took over the case following the discovery of the deadly weapons on Tuesday night.
A team of armed police officers was providing security to the auctioneer following a court order to break in and remove the proclaimed goods belonging to the tenant namely Ken Lugwili of Vic. Technologies Limited.
According to police, the said office was broken into by the auctioneers and one of the rooms was discovered to be having a standard armoury where the weapons were found.
They included nine escort magnum short guns, one Benelli short gun, five Guatro short guns, one savage short gun, six Walter pistols, and a total of 565 ammunition of assorted different calibers.
Police said they also found 25 pistol holsters, dozens of magazine carriers, 30 slings, ten sniper torches and a certificate of registration as a firearm dealer.
The team also found a firearm movement register and assorted firearm manuals.
Kilimani police head of the DCI Stephen Tanki said they took over the recovered items for safe custody as investigations go on.
“It seems he was a firearms dealer but it was dangerous for him to leave this issue to reach this stage with such weapons therein yet all indications are the license had expired,” he said.
Police said they were yet to get in touch with Lugwili for talks over the discovery.
Lugwili said he did not know his license had expired.
He said he will cooperate with police.
“I am a licensed gun dealer but I didn’t realise the license had expired,” he said.
Officers handling the case said his license to handle and sell the weapons expired in 2018.
The team revisited the scene on Wednesday as part of investigations into the recovery and to aid the auctioneer to recover his said money.
Licensed firearms dealers are supposed to undergo mandatory vetting annually to ensure they are compliant.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had in December 2018 announced the vetting of the civilian firearms holders and the dealers following increased cases of fake certificates in circulation.
The vetting process involves psychiatric assessment by a government psychologist, criminal record checks and ballistic testing of the weapons and ammunition by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
The vetting was meant to address the procedural improprieties in the issuance and licensing of firearms.
“The reason His Excellency the President ordered this to be done and why the National Security Advisory Committee and other Security Agencies have been keen to ensure that this exercise is completed, is because we want to deal with the various aspects related to crime in the country,” said Matiang’i.