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How shop attendant foiled Kamiti trio’s effort to register new sim cards

A shop attendant who refused to register sim cards bought by the three Kamiti escapees has been hailed as a patriotic Kenyan.

According to detectives who are investigating the case, the three escapees – Musharraf Abdalla, Joseph Juma Odhiambo and Mohammed Ali Abikar – who have since been arrested, had attempted to establish contact with their colleagues in the terror network but were initially unable.

They had bought two mobile phones and were attempting to register sim cards when the actions of a shop attendant put a stop to their plans.

Detectives have since traced the trio’s movements and talked to the attendant who revealed how the terror convicts, who did not have IDs, had begged him to register their sim cards, but he refused.

“They desperately pleaded with the attendant to facilitate the process at a fee but the attendant was adamant that unless they produced their national identification documents, then no help would come their way,” DCI said in a statement.

“The attendant’s refusal to make illegal and illegitimate profit saved the country in a big way. The decision to do what is right regardless of the incentive that was offered not only demonstrated the attendant’s steadfastness but also his fidelity to the law even when nobody was watching.”

Detectives who are investigating the case of how the three terrorists escaped from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison on November 14 have since established that the escapees were moved out of the prison facility in a private car and later driven to Machakos town.

The three terror convicts who escaped from the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison after they were arrested in Kitui County on November 18, 2021. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“Immediately after their arrival in Machakos, the convicts had refreshed, taken breakfast and bought caps to conceal their faces, in readiness for the rest of their journey,” DCI said.

The car they used in their movement is being sought.

On Tuesday, a court in Kiambu, which is dedicated to counter-terrorism cases, allowed the state to detain the three terror convicts for 10 days.

At the same time, the court also allowed the prosecution to transfer the trio from Kamiti to the Anti-terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) headquarters in Nairobi for security reasons and to prevent those implicated in the case from interfering with both the evidence and investigations.

The three convicts had been jailed for a cumulative 78 years for engaging in terrorism activities.

At the same time, the suspended Kamiti Maximum Prison boss, Mr Charles Mutembei, alongside five other senior wardens — Mr Joseph Loklari, Ms Pamela Cherubet, Mr Peter Thuku, Ms Lilian Mukasia and Mr Nicholas Otieno — have suffered a blow after the court ruled that they be detained for eight more days at Gigiri Police Station as investigations continue over their link in aiding the terror suspects to escape from prison.

The DCI and the DPP argued in their miscellaneous application in court that Mr Mutembei and his co-accused, as seniors in-charge of the Kamiti prison, failed to ensure safety and created a loophole for the terror suspects to escape.

The state wanted the six to be detained for 30 days as investigations continue.

Aiding a jailbreak attracts a maximum jail term of seven years if one is found guilty.