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The rise and rise of rogue police officers – VIDEO


Benjamin Ogeto was walking towards Mathari Hospital gate when he was accosted by two plainclothes police officers who handcuffed him and started questioning why he was walking alone at night.

He tried to explain to them that he was on his way home, but the officers would hear none of it. They proceeded with him to the Muthaiga Police Station.

ARRESTS

At the station, the officers locked him up inside a dark room without recorded anything about the arrest on the Occurrence Book (OB).

“They never took anything from me. All they told me was that I make calls to any close family members to come and bail me out,” Ogeto told Nairobi News of the early July incident.

Ogeto then called his sister Jane Ogeto, a practising lawyer, who in a few minutes arrived at the station to find out what had happened.

When she asked the officer who was on duty about her brother’s arrest, she asked to part with some money to secure his release.

The sister tried questioning the whole matter, asking why the officers did not record the arrest, but it all fell on deaf ears.

“We had no option but part with Sh2,000 and I was released by the officers,” Ogeto says.

To date, he has never forgotten the incident, which he says eroded his trust in the police service.

In the recent past, cases of the most egregious acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement have hit the headlines and the public is clearly losing trust in a state agency whose mandate is to protect them.

It is no secret that some officers have gone rogue and are using their privilege to steal money and terrorise members of the public.

In the last three weeks alone, more than five cases implicating police officers in criminal activities have been reported at difference police stations within Nairobi.

ARMED ROBBERY

In one outrageous incident, some errant cops were reported to have asked for bribes from their boss, the Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai.

Then last weekend, one of the deadliest robbery with violence undertaken by police officers took place in Eastleigh where businessmen were robbed Sh6 million at gunpoint.

In a police report that was filed at the Pangani Police Station, during the Saturday incident, five police officers stormed Barwaqo Hotel, where two men, identified as Mohammed Hassan Mohammed and Abdullahi Hussein Yusuf, had booked a room for the night.

The police officers came in brandishing their firearms while threatening the businessman to surrender the cash which was in US Dollars.

Three of the officers who arrested alongside a foreign civilian during the incident have since been arraigned in court.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has revealed that they are in pursuit of other suspects who played different roles in the robbery.

“This seems to be a well-organised robbery and those arrested are just but a clique of the gang. We are still in pursuit of more people who were directly or indirectly involved in the theft,” said a senior sleuth attached to the DCI.

Mid-last week, another police officer, Mr Simon Mathiu, was arrested for vandalising a car that was parked inside Kamulu Police Station’s yard.

CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES

Also, more than five police officers have been arrested for making away with cash amounting to millions of shillings from banks in a series of incidents.

Nairobi News can now reveal other tricks that these rogue officers use in their criminal activities.

In downtown areas, it is a common scenario to see armed uniformed officers walking around with handcuffed suspects, who in most cases don’t end up in the cells. The same scenario plays itself out at night.

Apparently, the often  release the suspected offenders the moment they part with some small amount of cash. Its only those who fail or refuse to comply that end up in the cells.

The police officers will then fill false dubious reports to cover their tracks.

Nairobi News has also learnt that some officers work in cahoots with members of the public to terrorise foreigners, who in most cases end up parting with large amount of money to avoid arrest in a foreign country.

In one of the most shocking revelation, some officers go to the extent of conducting searches in various homes often making away with money or valuables.

Security experts in the country have attributed the raise in rogue police officers to mass recruitment for the uniformed police that was introduced back in 2010.

POLICE VETTING

According George Musamali a former GSU officer and currently a security expert, most of the officers involved in crime are the new recruits who were not well vetted during the recruitment.

“As a country we mass manufactured policemen. We got people into the service with properly vetting. There was no background check of these individuala,” says Musamali.

The other issue that Musamali raised was the integration of uniformed personnel with other Kenyans.

He noted that the idea was good but proper structures and measure of how they are going to be supervised was lacking.

“When uniformed officers used to live in their camps/police lines, there was a supervisor in charge of the police line. They monitored the movement of every off duty officers under them,” he points out.

But with many officers now living in different places, it has become hard to monitor what they are doing and where they when they are off duty.

Musamali also blames the police bosses for letting the officers off duty keep their firearms, which in most instances have been used by rogue officers in criminal activities.

“You will find an off duty police officer has carried his firearm home. This is not supposed to be the case. The standard operational procedures clearly say that if one is off duty, their firearm is supposed to be surrendered to the station and back to the armory,” Musamali says.