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Six suspects arrested over Uber taxi attacks

A six-man gang believed to be behind a spate of attacks targeting Uber taxis in Nairobi has been arrested.

The six were taken into custody at 2am on Saturday and were alleged to have been planning another attack, according to Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome.

“They knew we were looking for them and have been trying to evade us but the arm of the law is long enough,” he told the Sunday Nation.

“They are currently in our custody as we finalise investigations but we will be presenting them in court on Tuesday to answer charges of arson, malicious damage and murder,” he said.

That incident aside, the police said the Easter period had passed without any major security breaches in the capital.

The police boss warned that his officers will not allow violation of the law in the name of competition between taxi associations and the new “hail a ride” mobile phone application whose entry in Kenya has disrupted the market. Taxi associations accuse Uber of undercharging its customers in order to drive them out of business.

TAXIS TORCHED

“A criminal is a criminal; it doesn’t matter his motivation for the crime and we shall pursue them,” he warned.

At least two Uber taxis have been torched and its drivers beaten or threatened in the last one month by people posing as passengers.

On Wednesday morning, an Uber taxi driver was hired by a man at Yaya Centre in Nairobi who said he needed to pick up his girlfriend from Naivasha Road in Riruta.

On reaching the destination, police said, he asked the driver to stop so that he could relieve himself. It was then that four men emerged and set the car ablaze.

Last month, another car was torched in a similar manner after its driver dropped off a passenger along Kirichwa Road in Nairobi’s Kilimani.

The Interior Ministry is yet to make public a report prepared by a committee that was supposed to recommend how to solve the dispute between the two rival groups.