Police officers outside the Kenya Commercial Bank branch in Thika on November 20, 2017. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NATIONPolice officers outside the Kenya Commercial Bank branch in Thika on November 20, 2017. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NATION
By MARY WAMBUI

The main suspects in the Sh50 million KCB Thika branch heist gave fake identification details to the landlord when they rented stalls adjacent to the bank in June, it has emerged.

A source who requested anonymity told the Nation that particulars of the copy of identity card given to the owner of the building by the tenants matched those of a different person.

“This was a very elaborate and well-orchestrated plan that the police are following up on,” said the source. “The police are also tracking their phones.”

Police officers in Thika remained non-committal on whether three people arrested on Monday would be charged in court Wednesday.

REPAIRS AT NIGHT

Other sources said the tenants kept asking for permission to carry out repairs on their stalls at night, probably in order to get ample opportunity to drill the tunnel leading to the bank.

“It is now obvious that those night shifts were cover-ups,” Rev David Kariuki, economic and political adviser to the Kiambu governor, told the press after visiting the scene Tuesday.

He said the Kiambu County Government will enhance security in all its major towns through installation of CCTV cameras on main streets.

The cameras will facilitate a 24-hour surveillance of sensitive institutions such as banks, said Rev Kariuki.

Police guarded the banking hall and the rear entrance as the bank resumed normal operations on Tuesday. At some point in the evening, a grader was seen unearthing a part of the gate as part of police investigations.

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES

“Had CCTV cameras been installed around town, the police would have noticed suspicious activities going on and would have averted the heist,” said Rev Kariuki. “The cars transporting the money would also have been easily tracked.”

Rev Kariuki advised developers to vet their prospective tenants and to always be on the lookout for security gaps and also adopt technology in their security measures.

Careful not to jeopardise ongoing investigations, police did not want to comment further on the issue.

Central Regional Police Commander Gideon Amala was among senior security officers who visited the site.