Police nab four thought to be behind bank robberies
By WILLIS OKETCH and KELVIN KARANI | September 23rd 2014
|Robbery suspects from right Charles Mulwa, Patrick Shiundu, Joseph Ndicu Mbugua and Raphael Kemboi at the Mombasa Court. [Photo/Kelvin Karani]|
Mombasa, Kenya: Detectives believe the arrest of four people, including an administration police officer, will unearth the syndicate behind rising bank-related robberies in Mombasa.
On Monday police said their investigations will be extended into all the banks where customers, who had made bulk withdrawals, were robbed minutes after leaving the bank.
All these robbery incidents appear to have similar trends and police say there is a big possibility that the robbers have insiders working in the banks.
Speaking to The Standard, Mombasa Urban Police boss, Geoffrey Mayiek said his investigating officer who was shot dead in Kisumu had communicated with one of the suspects who was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
"We are trying to find out if one of the arrested, Corporal Raphael Kemboi, used to communicate with the AP officer who was recently shot dead in Kisumu after being accused of being a member of a terror gang that has been terrorising residents," Mayiek said.
He said Kemboi had told them he is an AP officer stationed at Tinderet Administration Police Station, Nandi County.
"Yes, Corporal Kemboi is one of the suspected members of a gang who have been posing as police officers and robbing people around the country of millions of shillings. Theirs appears to be an organised syndicate because they do not target those who withdraw less than Sh100,000," he said.
Mayiek said police the suspects have either been working with bank officials, security guards or police officers guarding such banks.
In the latest incident, the suspects are said to have abducted a cashier soon after withdrawing an unspecified amount of money from the NIC bank, Mombasa.
Kemboi and the three suspects were arrested on Saturday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi after the plane that was ferrying them landed from Moi International Airport Mombasa.
On Monday, a Mombasa Court ordered that the suspects, Charles Mulwa, Patrick Shiundu, Joseph Ndicu and Kemboi be detained for seven days to enable police complete their investigation.
Residential Magistrate V. Kachuodho issued the directive following an appeal by the investigating officer, Moses Murithi.
"The investigation that I am carrying out is very wide and we need more time to investigate this case and that is why we are requesting for seven days. We believe that these suspects have been involved in a series of robbery cases in Mombasa where they have been targeting clients leaving the banks after withdrawing their money and robbing them," he said.
Several residents who have fallen victim to the suspects' activities thronged Central Police Station in Mombasa.
They told police that the gang called them by name before hijacking and stealing from them.
Police said they are looking for a van used by the suspects, adding that the vehicle's number plate was captured by CCTV cameras.
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