By JOSEPHAT SIROR
Crispin Otieno could be driving a pick-up today had his investment plans succeeded. But rogue police officers had other ideas.
His dream was dashed in a record eight minutes when five men posing as police officers robbed him of the money.
Otieno had just withdrawn the money from a Barclays Bank branch in Industrial Area at 1.25pm on Monday last week when the uniformed thugs confronted him.
The men, who were in a saloon car, stopped right in front of him by the roadside on Bandari Road, just a few metres from the bank, and asked him to produce his job identify. But since he is self-employed, Otieno instead showed them his national identity card.
Had a hunch
Although they said they were police officers, Otieno had a hunch that they could be gangsters, so he too demanded that the men identify themselves since anyone can pretend to be a policeman.
That tiff lasted a few minutes and the men let Otieno walk a few metres ahead before they stopped him again.
This time, says Otieno, 42, a uniformed man had joined the ‘officers’, who were carrying a walkie-talkie.
The uniformed man then pounced on him and pushed him by the neck into their car all the time asking Otieno why he was defying ‘police orders’.
The gang drove with him around the city in a harrowing ride as he was handcuffed and pinned onto the floor of the backseat.
Kicked and knocked
“As if confused, they asked each other where to take me. One of them suggested they take me to the station,” Otieno recounts. But even as they negotiated, the driver made several turns before zooming off towards Mombasa Road. It was a short ride but painful as his abductors kicked and knocked his face with pistol butts.
“As we drove off, the officer in uniform asked me how much money I had, I told him I had Sh90,000 in two sets. He went ahead to remove the money from my pocket,” he recalls.
On feeling his hard-earned money slip off his hands, Otieno’s anger fomented. He decided to confirm whether these robbers were common gangsters or police officers. He did this by brushing his leg along their trousers and shoes.
“I can confirm that it was like those of regular police dress code,” he says.
And when the officers sensed what he was doing, they were enraged and responded by kicking him more viciously.
When they reached the bypass linking Mombasa and Langata roads, they argued about what to do with him.
While they wanted him killed, one of the thugs suggested they throw him out of the car and after a short argument, they abandoned him at the rough link road.
Lucky to have survived the ordeal, Otieno says he decided to check out whether officers guarding a nearby bank would have been involved in the incident.
Reluctant to act
“After a few days, my friends accompanied me to the scene. I was shocked to see the officer who dragged me into the car seated outside the bank a few metres from where I was bundled,” says a frustrated Otieno.
Since the robbery incident happened in the jurisdiction of Industrial Area Police Station, Otieno reported the matter there but officers were reluctant to act.
“When I was at OB, one of them actually asked me to ‘take it slow’ as it was a case affecting officers in uniform,” he said.
Makadara District Criminal Investigations officer Zack Nangulu told The Standard that the incident is under investigation.
“There are so many cases involving rogue officers but we have initiated investigations for this particular one,” said Nangulu.
He adds, “We are set to have a parade and if it is one of our officers, then we would take action immediately.”