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NAIROBI CRIME: Why you need to be vigilant with porters

Cases of porters disappearing with client’s luggage are on the rise in the city centre.

The porters are by law outlawed from the Central Business District (CBD) but they still operate with impunity. Cases of theft by the porters are usually taken to the Nairobi City law courts.

Many victims often do not report cases of theft because either the stolen goods are soon recovered or they just chose to remain silent.

Police have said there are telltale signs to look out for to detect a unscrupulous porters and avoid loss of luggage.

Central Police OCPD Paul Wanjama says potential clients, mostly traders, should identify one porter whom they know well. Do not randomly pick a porter from the street.

“They should identify one specific porter and conduct due diligence to ensure their wares are safe. Traders should not just trust everybody with their goods,” says Mr Wanjama.

Mr Wanjama says victims should raise alarm and attract attention of police officers on patrol.

“When you realise a porter is going too fast that you are unable to catch up, raise alarm. There are always officers within the CBD,” said Mr Wanjama.

Most cases of theft take the form of a porter walking too fast or crossing the road quickly.

“Others even collude with matatu conductors…the conductors drop you off at a specific stage then tell you to use a specific porter. If you notice a connection between the conductor and the porter just turn down the offer and source for another one independently,” said Mr Wanjama.

A key rule when transporting goods with the help of porters is never give a detailed description of what is inside the box.

“In case a porter charges an amount that is too small compared to the distance to the destination, one should be suspicious. The porter could be intending to disappear with the goods,” said Mr Wanjama.

The safest way to transport goods is to use a means of transport that can accommodate both the goods and the client so as to avoid cases of porters disappearing.