REVEALED: Police suspect in Sh6m Eastleigh robbery has a ‘criminal record’
A police officer arrested in connection with a Sh6 million robbery in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area has a separate criminal court case, investigations by the Sunday Nation show.
Simon Mwaniki Festus, 34, attached to Kayole Police Station, is suspected to have been among the police gang was arrested and on Friday presented at the Makadara Law Courts, where a magistrate ordered that he be held for seven days.
It is not clear why he was still in the police service with a pending case in the Limuru courts that would require his interdiction. Mr Mwaniki is alleged to have robbed a Chinese national of Sh2.7 million on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway in July 2017.
Mr Wuwei Dun, who was an investor in the gambling sector, was headed to Nakuru from Nairobi with two of his staff, Janet Cheptoo and Ezra Kipng’eno, with Cheptoo behind the wheel when a Subaru carrying four armed police officers in plain clothes intercepted them.
The four were Mr Mwaniki, Kennedy Kobia, attached to Chepalungu DCI in Bomet County, Isaiah Kimani from the Anti-Mugging Squad and Eunice Wanjiku Mburu of Central Police Station.
Police bosses then said that the four were off-duty that day.
Investigators believed the Chinese man’s staff knew about the robbery plot. After the robbery, the police officers drove towards Nairobi.
The Flying Squad later arrested them with huge amounts of money. Mr Kobia was arrested in Gachie after he deposited Sh100,000 in his bank account; Ms Mburu was in possession of Sh95,000; Mr Kimani was found with Sh150,000, while Mr Mwaniki had Sh100,000.
The were arraigned at the Limuru Law Courts. During the hearing of the case, the prosecution told the court that Ms Cherono and Mr Kipng’eno were accomplices in the robbery, as it emerged that they were in communication with the officers on the day they were attacked.
For that reason, the duo was charged in the case, which captured the attention of the public.
The Sunday Nation has established that the officers were later interdicted from the service. It is still unclear how Mr Mwaniki, who started his career in Kisii, was cleared and posted to Kayole Police Station.
However, police sources suspect Mr Mwaniki has been involved in suspicious police operations and is now the subject of an investigation.
On his Facebook account, Mr Mwaniki describes himself as a former detective at the Secret Agent.
The kind of photos he uploads on his social media accounts reveal a pretty flashy lifestyle. A senior officer at Vigilance House this week told the Sunday Nation in confidence that it was mysterious how Mr Mwaniki had returned to work.
“We shall find out the truth and know how he was sent to Kayole Police Station,” said the officer.
After landing his job back, Mr Mwaniki now finds himself accused of criminal conduct after the Eastleigh incident, in which police officers and a Cameroonian national are alleged to have robbed two businessmen of Sh6 million.
The accused are Mr Mwaniki, Corporal Wilson Cheruiyot, Constable Daniel Kipkorir, Constable Alex Kandie, Mr Esome Baptist and Petronila Njeri Ngaara, whom police say is an accomplice and runs the Kayole police canteen.
Backed up by an informer, who gave them blow-by-blow details of what was going on, the officers left Kayole, held a meeting at a bar in Eastleigh and, at exactly 1am that Saturday, left for the lodging where they terrorised everyone before making away with Sh6 million, according to investigators.
However, it was not long before the businessmen raised the alarm and two officers attached to Pangani Police Station, who were on patrol, pounced on the group and arrested some of them.
Mr Mwaniki allegedly escaped but DCI detectives on Wednesday evening pounced on him at Kahawa West as he was heading to Ruiru. He was in the company of Mr Kelvin Marangu, a police officer attached to DCI Kasarani, and Mr Martin Kithinji, a civilian.
Mr Mwaniki then led the officers to his two houses at Kayole Junction and Hurligham, where they found fake currencies, fake driving licences and police documents and attire.