More staff grilled on Sh47m theft in Moyale

Also questioned include the pilot, co-pilot and an employee from a private security company contracted to escort the cash from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Moyale’s Odha Airstrip. [Courtesy]
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) are focusing on possibilities of an inside job as more Equity Bank officials from Moyale and Nairobi are interrogated.

The DCI officers yesterday started grilling middle level staffers and security officers at the bank’s branch in Moyale. Senior officers - from the branch manager, operation manager and bank officers among others were grilled between Wednesday and Thursday.

It also emerged that the robbers stole Sh47 million in the 10-minute robbery and the third gunny bag left behind contained Sh13 million. The information on the figures was given by a reliable source close to the detectives trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the incident.

Others questioned include the pilot, co-pilot and an employee from a private security company contracted to escort the cash from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Moyale’s Odha Airstrip.  

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The Cessna fixed-wing aircraft landed at Odha Airstrip in the border town at 1pm on Wednesday, with a pilot, co-pilot and private security official escorting the consignment, which included new Sh1,000 notes for a local Equity Bank branch.

In an unusual development, according to police sources, the cash collection vehicle with Wells Fargo private security guards and armed police officers that routinely waits for arrival of the plane whenever cash is brought in, had not arrived.

Police are now pointing at an inside job because the usual cash collection routine was not followed. “They are supposed to take their cash collection vehicle accompanied by security officers who are in a separate car. They are supposed to be at the airstrip waiting for the plane to land, and not the plane waiting for them,” said an officer familiar with normal cash collection routines.

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The bank had contracted officers from the Critical Infrastructure Police Unit to escort the money, Eastern Regional Police Commander Eunice Kihiko said.

Both Moyale Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Mumali and Sub County Police Commander Antony Nderitu said the absence of a security escort at the airstrip had raised eyebrows, adding that investigators would pursue a theory that the heist was an inside job.

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