Police recover vehicle with similar registration number as that at the Dusit crime scene

A senior police officer examines a car that had similar number plate with the one was used by terrorists at Riverside drive in Westlands, Nairobi. [Peterson Githaiga/Standard]
Police in Kitengela, Kajiado County, have found a car with similar number plates to the one used by terrorists on Tuesday.

The Toyota Ractis had registration number KCN 340E. It was discovered in an apartment on the Kitengela - Balozi road.

According to neighbours, the car’s owner rented the house a month ago and they hardly saw him.

Police later towed the vehicle to the Kitengela police station.

Authorities have, however, since said the car used by the terrorists was fraudulently registered.

According to police, preliminary findings show the Toyota Ractis with registration number plate KCN 340E that was used in the attack was grey.

But details at the National Transport and Safety Authority show the colour of the vehicle as light blue.

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Police handling the matter said they were investigating how the two cars had similar registration details. “There was fraud in the registration, but we are pursuing more details,” said an officer aware of the issue.

When police ran the registration numbers of the car on their IC3 system, it showed it had been using the Ruaka-Nairobi route up to the area outside the dusitD2 hotel in the past week.

Security cameras

It passed through at least six security cameras where the details were captured.

On Tuesday, it is said to have driven to a restaurant near Kileleshwa police station before the occupants drove back using Kilimani Ring Road and joined Riverside Drive at about 3pm. That was the time the attack was launched.

Traders operating outside the Chiromo Campus hostels said they had been seeing the vehicle park there for the last one week.

At least four men used to arrive and park the car outside the hostels and walk to the hotel for a short period before walking out.

“They used to give me Sh100 for watching over their car. I didn’t know what their mission was,” said a trader at the scene.

Police have since established that the five terrorists were on a surveillance mission whenever they visited the hotel.

The detectives are going through CCTV recordings at the hotel to establish the occasions the terrorists visited there.

It is claimed they had even sought to be shown how rooms at the hotel looked and what it cost to book one.

At Ruaka, police have established that the terrorists had stayed at the rented house for several months. They were also alerted of the car’s activities by residents of Ruaka, who saw its details at the site. The car was shot at and had its tyres deflated.

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Toyota RactisKCN 340ENairobi Terror Attack14 riverside attack