Police officers in Nakuru are colluding with criminals to vandalise the railway line, a senior police officer has revealed.
Nakuru Railways OCPD Justina Nzivo said former and serving police officers were linked to the theft of metal from the railway lines in the county.
The police boss noted that since March this year, at least six lorries had been impounded while transporting scrap rail metal in Londiani, Bahati and Solai. She further said investigations showed serving and retired police officers were directly or indirectly involved.
Last week, she said, a lorry transporting rail metal worth Sh1.7 million was impounded at Solai under police escort.
She, however, said the officers who were dressed in full uniform and armed with guns fled immediately they noticed they were being trailed.
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"It is surprising that people who are supposed to protect property are behind the crime of vandalising railways. Three police officers were escorting the vehicles and we found the areas where they are based," said Ms Nzivo.
She noted stolen rail metal and slippers were finding their way into the steel market in Kisumu and Eldoret.
While calling on residents to volunteer information to police, Nzivo said she had already reported police involvement in theft of rail metal to her seniors.
"Ex-police officers working with railways are being investigated to see if they are connected to the vice, more so along Londiani-Molo line that heads to Kisumu," she said.
She said dishonest traders had vowed to have her transferred for her effort in fighting the vice. The OCPD has warned police officers against engaging in such crimes, saying they will be disciplined as per the National Police Service procedures.
She decried the low fines being imposed on offenders involved in railway vandalism. Ms Nzivo also called on the Judiciary to impose hefty fines on such offenders.
Meanwhile, a most wanted criminal who broke out of the Naivasha Maximum Prison early this year was arrested in Gilgil over the weekend. Confirming the arrest, Administration Police officer in-charge of crime in Gilgil Inspector John Waweru said the suspect was arrested within Bondeni following a tip-off from residents.
Mr Waweru said upon noticing police officers, the suspect whose exact name is yet to be confirmed attempted to flee but police arrested him immediately.
He said the suspect had been going by the names David Mwangi, 'kajunior' and John Mbugua. The officer said the suspect had been convicted together with two others after he was found guilty of stealing a pistol belonging to Gilgil deputy OCPD but he escaped from the facility earlier this year.
Waweru termed the arrest as a great breakthrough in the fight against crime. "The suspect is at Gilgil police station and is expected to appear in court today (Monday)," said the inspector.