Over 100 employees attached to the Department of Roads, Transport and Infrastructure in Nandi County are being investigated over theft of new vehicle tyres valued at Sh4 million.
The County Executive (CEC) in charge of roads Engineer Hillary Koech, the department’s Chief Officer (CO) Jonah Biwott and Director David Kemei reported to the media that the missing vehicle tyres were stolen from the stores between midnight on Friday and 3 am Saturday morning.
“A security guard attached to the department was alone at work and kidnapped by unknown assailants at about midnight and released by 3 am Saturday morning. In that period, at least 100 new tyres went missing from the stores,” said Koech.
They included new tyres meant for the county roads machinery including the low-loader Lorries and the county administration’s Landcruiser and Everest vehicles.
An unestablished number of used vehicle tyres which were stored in the same store were also ferried away by the suspected thieves.
“It took the intruders over two hours to load all the new tyres and used ones into the vehicle they were using. We suspect a lorry or two were used to ferry the stolen merchandise because some tyres which were meant to be used for the low-loader lorry are large in size,” said Biwott.
Kemei said the departmental head had handed over a list of about 100 county employees attached to the department to the police and will subject all the listed employees to investigations to rule out possibilities that the theft was an inside job.
The department is based about 1 km away from Kapsabet and is surrounded by private individuals’ residential homes.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Nandi led by CCIO Sammy Mukeku has commenced investigations into the theft.
Two security officers who were supposed to be on duty on the fateful night were arrested on Saturday and recorded statements at the Nandi Central Police station.
In their statement, one security guard reported he made an unofficial arrangement to relieve his night guard partner from work owing to sickness.