Cash boxes in Nairobi West Sh72m heist found in forest

Police last night found the cash boxes carted away in the dramatic theft of Sh72 million in Nairobi on Thursday.

The 13 empty cash boxes were abandoned in Thogoto Forest, Kiambu County, some 17 kilometres from Nairobi West where the heist took place.

Officers from Kikuyu Police Station said they were tipped by a local who had allegedly stumbled on the boxes.

“…police rushed to the scene and found the 13 boxes and bags from Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank, KCB Bank, Barclays Bank,” the station said in the OB report.

At the scene, they also found a broken phone, a SIM card, a black G4S jacket.

Arrested

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Police are holding at least 10 people to help with the investigation of how three armed men dressed in replica Administration Police uniform stole the money without firing a shot.

Some of the people detained are G4S staffers dealing with the Cash-in-Transit cargo.

The criminals had travelled with the G4S team from their headquarters in Industrial Area to the bank – a distance of about four kilometres.

G4S officer told police they thought the three were police officers assigned to escort the cash as they were aware of their operations.

On arrival at Standard Chartered bank’s Nairobi West branch, they commanded the G4S employees to hand over the money to them.

They also demanded ATM passwords from the employees and withdrew money that was in the ATM.

And in a scene off an action movie, they sped off in a waiting car.

Standard Chartered management or the other banks whose cash boxes have been found in the forest have not spoken to the media over the incident.

How it happened  

6am: Three men in Administration Police uniform and armed with rifles arrive at the G4S headquarters offices along Witu Road in Industrial Area, where they introduce themselves as the security assigned to transport cash to Nairobi west.

The unsuspecting G4S staff, who had their cargo ready and loaded into the van, allow the “officers” in. As usual, one takes the place reserved for the security officer in the main van that carries the cash, while two others join the other staff in the accompanying car.

They take the four kilometres journey to Standard Chartered Bank in Nairobi West, but at gunpoint, as they enter the Bank, they allegedly commandeer the G4S staff, and demand for the bank’s ATM password.

One of them goes ahead and empties the balance in the ATM, while the other two take care of the cargo. The total amount is then loaded in another car that had already arrived at the bank before the thugs fled away. 

Not a first

The Standard Chartered incident is not the first involving money on transit.

In June this year, police and staff of a private security company were placed under investigation after Sh2 million they were escorting went missing.

The money had been collected from Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, and was headed for a strong room in Industrial Area.

In the same month, a policeman and a private security guard were arrested following the disappearance of Sh4 million on transit.

The money was the day's collection from Naivas Supermarket at Mountain Mall along Thika Road.

The two were among four security officers who had collected the money at around 9 pm before two gunmen grabbed it.

In 2016, an employee of a security company allegedly disappeared with Sh25 million at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

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Thogotho ForestG4SStandard Chartered BankCrime