It’s 2am when you are rudely awakened by the cold barrel of a gun. Having subdued your watchie, the bad boys have somehow invited themselves into your house.

 All they now want from you are the valuables, your safe or life. As they ransack the house, one gangster orders you and family into the small room where you get strapped. As they continue ransacking, you hear them call each other by names you are certain belongs to them.

Upon their exit and once you’ve unshackled yourselves, you find an alien ID card or passport carelessly thrown in a corner. This gives you courage to call the cops believing you have hard identity evidence of your attackers.

Police inspect stolen items which were recovered. Criminals are now stealing identification documents and leaving them in scenes of crime to implicate innocent people. Photo: Evans Habil/Standard

Welcome to the world of sly gangsters who use stolen identification documents and assumed names to commit crimes, leaving innocents to pick up the tab.

Smart goons know the law and are certain that your first report to cops immediately after an incident normally revolves around what you experienced and heard during an ordeal.

The other catch is that the cops would be looking for the owner of the discarded documents who would be hard put to explain how his documents happened at the scene. In case the brother can’t grease palms to secure his release, he will join me here, his innocence notwithstanding. 

Stolen documents

I am now speaking to Erico, a self-confessed goon who has perfected the art of using stolen identification documents to run rings round his victims and law enforcement agencies. The other day, the brother came face to face with Sam, a brother who is serving a long stretch for a crime that Erico’s gang had committed using stolen identification documents. Erico operated a gang of pinjes (pick-pockets) besides his main gang. It is the former gang that supplied the IDs and passports, which were lifted from unsuspecting victims.

Depending on the place he wanted to survey before a hit, Erico would flash a convenient ID.

In the event that his team went on a burglary spree, they would resort to sheer intimidation.

A hard rasp would rattle the victim’s door followed by the loud command to invisible faces: "Kumi ndani, Kumi nje (ten attack, ten keep guard)."

Lazy sleuths

The funny thing is that the gang does not even number four, but they win the psychological war against cornered victims.

What follows is an orgy of violence (spiced with rape these days) before the goons scatter into the night, leaving in their wake what the victims will readily assume to be incriminating identification documents. But in reality they will ensure that lazy sleuths nab an innocent chap.

While still on framed-up cases, l have to confess that l am astounded at the new trend where sexual related offences are becoming the new frontier for settling family and business feuds.

Old men who refuse to parcel out family land or those who marry gacungwas are being hauled into neti in droves with one charge; defiling toddlers. It would not shock me if some irresponsible drunken lout was nabbed in the act, but charging a hermaphrodite with a non-functioning dildo with rape, or septuagenarians and octogenarians who cannot rise to the occasion even if pumped with a generous dosage of the blue pill with defilement is taking a silly joke too far.

Vested interests

The predominant view in neti is that vested interests have taken over the prosecution of sexual offences, with a couple of NGOs taking the lead in ensuring convictions so as to raise their profiles with their benefactors.

Woe unto you if the magistrate trying you has had a harrowing experience at the hands of beastly louts or is a member of one of the NGOs.

You and your reputation will be hanged dry as raw emotion replaces the rule of law as a basis of conviction and sentence.

Thank God, most of these cases are thrown out at appeal by the superior courts but by then, one has suffered irreparable damage.

As we begin this new year, let’s ensure that we have a crime-free nation but do not give false evidence against an innocent person as it only worsens matters.

There would be no difference between you and Erico.

And meanwhile, do not move around with your original ID documents when a photocopy would suffice. Do have a safe day.