Car dealer among four suspects arrested over Sh72 million bank heist

Six G4S and Standard Chartered Bank employees (left to right) Dan Mark Agembe, Nathan Njiiru, Wilfred Nyambane, Ascar Kemunto, Abraham Mwangi, Njoroge and Musa Rajab at Milimani Law Courts where the prosecution applied to detain them for 10 days to enable them complete investigations over theft of approximately Sh72 million which was on transit. [George Njunge / Standard]
The dramatic heist where a cash transit company lost Sh72 million on Thursday was executed by police officers who used two vans to cart away the loot, Saturday Standard can reveal.

At the same time, four people -- among them a car dealer who hired out his Toyota Noah which police believe was used to carry the money -- have been arrested.

Investigations show that contrary to earlier reports that the security company personnel were commandeered by thugs dressed in police uniform, the perpetrators were actually law enforcers.

Hired car

SEE ALSO :How fake cops tricked guards in Sh72m heist

One of the officers is said to be from Utawala Administration Police (AP) camp and another is from Embakasi.

The man, said to be the owner of the Toyota Noah that the criminals used to ferry the stolen cash, was picked up by detectives yesterday from his home in Kiambu.

The vehicle was driven to the Nairobi area DCI offices where the man was also made to record statements.

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A second van was traced to Ruaka where by the time of going to press, investigators were camping in a bid to recover it. Two people connected with the second van have been arrested.

The suspect told investigators he was not linked to the theft and that he had only hired his car to a customer on Tuesday. Police were also reviewing two CCTV footages – one from the Standard Chartered Bank and another from the G4S Headquarters.

SEE ALSO :How five-month plot for Sh72m bank heist went awry

In one of the footages, two men dressed in AP uniforms were captured entering the G4S headquarters on Witu Road. The officers together with G4S officers collected money which they were to feed to Standard Chartered ATMs within Nairobi.

This was shortly before 6am, police sources said yesterday. Initial reports by G4S staff filed at the Nairobi West police patrol base indicated that the AP officers who had escorted G4S staff to load money in an ATM turned out to be criminals after they asked for the ATM security code to load the cash.

The men in police uniforms took the G4S staff mobile phones and offloaded 13 bags of cash into the waiting Toyota Noah which they used to escape. The four G4S Staff who allegedly were left at the scene contacted their senior and a report on the stolen cash was filed with the police.

Police investigations now point at a possible collusion between the G4S staff and the AP officers.

A senior AP officer told Saturday Standard that four police officers who were supposed to be escorting the cash from the G4s cash stores did not turn up.

SEE ALSO :Another suspect in Sh72m heist arrested

Cash boxes

The four were left stranded at their Nairobi Uhuru camp quarters after the G4S vehicles that were to pick them failed to show up.

This latest revelation has further complicated the investigations as officers who are attending cash escort jobs are normally vetted by their seniors and their names forwarded to G4S. A special team of officers from the Flying Squad, Special Crime Prevention Unit and Nairobi area DCI officers has been tasked to find the stolen cash. Flying Squad chief Musa Yego, who is leading the operation, declined to comment on the arrests. “The investigations are ongoing and we will give you the outcome when were are finished,“ Mr Yego said on phone.

Yesterday, police in Kikuyu recovered cash boxes that had been abandoned at Thogoto forest. A report from Kikuyu police station to police headquarters at Vigilance House revealed that 13 empty cash bags from different banks had been found abandoned in the bushes. A damaged mobile phone, a sim card and a G4S jacket were also recovered from the scene. Last evening, police were analysing traffic cameras within the CBD with an aim of trying to trace the movement of the Toyota Noah and possible facial recognition of the driver and occupants.

The investigators hope to nail the AP officers and the G4S staff who may have been involved in the theft.

SEE ALSO :Police widen net in bank heist probe

Cybercrime investigators have also been handed mobile phones of the four men arrested by the police to establish the communication between the suspects.

Six suspects implicated in the theft will now spend the next seven days in police cells. This is after the prosecution was yesterday granted seven days to detain the six suspects involved in heist.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku granted prosecution’s request to continue holding Musa Rajab, Abraham Mwangi Njoroge, Ascar Kemunto, Wilfred Nyambane, Natahn Njiru and Danmark Magembe at Lang’ata police station.

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