Over the last four years, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has been on a transformation trajectory that has seen the Directorate undergo major transformational changes aimed at improving the services offered to members of the public.
This has been a deliberate effort to ensure that DCI discharges its mandate efficiently and effectively, as expressed by the will of Kenyans in the 2010 constitution and in conformity with established laws.
The shift has also been brought about by globalisation propelled by rapid advances in technology and an increasingly well-informed society.
It is for this reason that upon my appointment as the Director of Criminal Investigations in January 2018, I assembled a strong team of detectives and we embarked on a process of transforming the Directorate to a professional investigative body, comparable to any established investigative agency across the world.
In order to achieve this, my office worked very closely with the Executive and Legislative arms of Government that fully supported the Directorate towards this endeavour.
We also reached out to local partners in the public, private sector and foreign missions that became our biggest support system in professionalising the Directorate to a world-class investigative body.
Through this deliberate effort, over 400 detectives received specialised training in diverse fields of investigations in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, Russia and South Africa among other countries that lead the world, in criminal investigations.
In one such high-profile collaboration, the US Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation partnered in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) outside of the United States.
Under this prestigious programme, 42 detectives drawn from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit underwent a 12-week intensive counterterrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, where I also joined the detectives to inspire them and make Kenya proud.
The establishment of this joint terrorism taskforce began after the Al-Shabaab terrorist attack on the DusitD2 Hotel after it was established that there was need for a multi-agency counterterrorism investigative force in the country. As a result, there has been a decrease in the number of reported terrorism related cases in the country.
Consequently, those that have been reported have been dealt with expeditiously, resulting to successful conviction of terror suspects, the most recent being the life sentence handed down to Ibrahim Robow, who was one of the main suspects behind the abduction of Cuban doctors in Mandera County three years ago.
Today, DCI boasts of one of the best counterterrorism tactical units in the region and across all the security services of our country. The Emergency Response Team (ERT) based at DCI-Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has been tried, tested and proven to be the most efficient, responsive and resilient among all the specialised tactical units in the country, thanks to this training.
The joint collaboration with the US Embassy has also expanded from counterterrorism, to include the fight against trafficking in wildlife and narcotics.
In May 2022, the immediate former US Ambassador Eric Kneedler and I addressed a joint press briefing at DCI headquarters, appealing to members of the public to provide information on two suspects who were wanted in the United States for conspiring to smuggle 190 kilogrammes of rhinoceros horns, 10 tonnes of elephant ivory and one kilogramme of heroin to the United States.
The two suspects were wanted pursuant to a red alert notice issued by Iterpol, after the US Southern District Court of New York indicted them. In a span of three months, both suspects had been arrested by detectives and extradited to the US to face justice.
Similarly, the UK Government has also partnered with the Directorate on various fronts, most notably in infrastructure development and in developing the human resource capacity of our officers to deal with modern day crimes.
Recently, the Directorate partnered with the UK High Commission in the construction and equipping of the multi-million ATPU headquarters at the coast. The ultra-modern complex, which is the first of its kind in the National Police Service, provides space for detectives to work on terrorism cases, conduct effective investigations and encourage stronger links with the local community that is most affected by terrorism.
Barely two years ago, the UK High Commissioner II.E Jane Marriott had, in the same venue, handed over to the Directorate, refurbished Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection offices, specialised vehicles and equipment meant to assist detectives in curbing the high number of child sexual exploitation cases at the coast.
Through the National Crime Agency, the UK Government also funded the establishment of an anonymous toll-free call centre, where members of the public report incidents of crime anonymously without the fear of their identity being disclosed.
This call centre dubbed FichuakwaDCI has revolutionised the manner in which crime is reported and acted upon expeditiously, leading to a significant reduction in crime, especially in urban areas.
Through anonymous reporting of crime, the Directorate collects actionable intelligence from members of the public from across the country and use it to intercept criminal acts including acts of terror, which would have had devastating effects if left to occur.
Our relationship with the German Embassy in Nairobi has also been one of the most outstanding in recent years. Through the GIZ programme, the Directorate has benefitted immensely through tailor made capacity development programs, generated to address specific challenges faced by our detectives in the course of their investigations.
Through this programme, over 1,000, detectives have been trained locally at the DC1 Academy in various forensic investigations disciplines, most notably Crime Scene Investigations, which form the foundation upon which every successful investigation is built.
This has led to improved service delivery as the efficiency and effectiveness of our officers in forensic investigations, especially in crime scene reconstruction and evidence management, has led to the successful resolution of many crime puzzles.