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How police solved mystery of missing Indians, taxi driver

National
 Missing persons Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Zaid Kidwai. [File, Standard]

Fresh details have emerged how the police managed to solve the mystery surrounding the abduction of two Indian nationals and their taxi driver by Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers in Nairobi.

There are also reports that a CCTV footage of the abduction left President William Ruto with no choice but disband the DCI's Special Services Unit.

The Sunday Standard has also learnt that the president intervened through calls to police chiefs and these calls pushed the investigators to unmask their colleagues.

This was despite spirited attempts by some senior officers to cover up the disappearance of two Indian nationals and a taxi driver in July.

Mohammed Zaid Sami Kidwai, Zulfiqra Ahmed Khan and Nichodemus Mwania Mwange went missing on July 23.

The two Indians were part of a five-man team that arrived into the country on April 16 as tourists and visited different places in the Rift Valley and Nairobi.

CCTV footage obtained by the National Police Service Internal Affairs Unit investigators has placed at least 28 DCI officers from the Special Service Unit at the centre of the abduction and forceful disappearance of the three men.

This might mean more arrests will follow after four police officers — a chief inspector and three corporals were arrested yesterday.

A preliminary report that includes raw CCTV images has so far been presented to the Head of State who is said to be keeping close tabs on the matter.

Yesterday's arrests in connection with the disappearance of the three men have sent members of the disbanded unit into panic mode.  

President Ruto had on Thursday put the police on notice over what he termed disastrous policies, and vowed to go after those who have used “terrible tactics” in the name of keeping the country safe.

“I have directed that immediate measures be undertaken to disband the Special Services Unit in the DCI and with urgency investigations must commence so that those found culpable are held accountable,” said Ruto in his Mashujaa Day speech.

Investigators say they have so far gathered enough evidence to conclude that the abduction was a well-planned operation sanctioned by senior State operatives in the DCI and National Intelligence Service (NIS).

It is on the basis of this report by the former Internal Affairs Unit boss Mohammed Amin, now the DCI boss, that the president is said to have made the decision to disband SSU.

Highly placed sources said the president was provided with raw CCTV footage of the last moments of the missing Indian nationals and their Kenyan driver.

The footage, obtained from the management of the Nairobi Expressway, showed the three men being pulled out of the taxi they were in on July 24.

In the footage, men now believed to be officers from the Special Service Unit, are seen disembarking from their white Subaru vehicles and pointing guns at the three occupants of a grey Toyota Fielder.

This was at around 12.15am, fifteen minutes after the three were captured by CCTV cameras leaving a club in Westlands.

From the CCTV cameras, the IAU investigators managed to trace the vehicle and detained three other vehicles. They have also detained another car which was being used as a taxi. Investigations have so far revealed that some of the detained vehicles were being used by SSU investigators.

Source familiar with the matter told Sunday Standard the investigators had also analysed tracking devices fitted in the vehicles. The devices had placed the vehicles at the scene where the men were abducted.

On Thursday, investigators were conducting an audit of all devices issued to police officers for the purposes of locating mobile phone numbers of persons of interest.

The countrywide audit was done to establish if any of the suspect DCI officers may have used the gargets to locate the mobile phones of the missing men.

Also, the IAU investigators have already secured the confession of one officer who served in the elite force and who revealed the events of that night's operation.

It is on the basis of this confession that acting Inspector General of Police deployed over 100 officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit to Aberdare forest where the bodies of the three men are said to have been dumped.

On Friday, IAU investigators summoned 12 officers who served in the disbanded unit to record statements.

According to sources, the officers were questioned on what they knew about the operation, who gave instructions and what role each of them played.

Earlier, Langata DCI had revealed that a mobile phone belonging to one of the missing men was switched off in the vicinity of two vital security premises in Muthaiga North area.

Langata investigators had prior to handing over the investigations to IAU recorded statements from 10 people among them the caretaker of the house where the two men lived and waitstaff at a club in Westlands.

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