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Telkom smashes cables racket

ELDORET, Kenya, Feb 3 – Integrated telecommunications service provider Telkom Kenya and the police have made a major breakthrough in their fight against transmission cables vandals with the arrest of five suspected masterminds in the North Rift Region.

Following a spate of copper and fibre optic cable vandalism on its network, Telkom Kenya early this year embarked on a concerted effort to fight the vice using community policing strategies which now appear to be bearing fruit.

Speaking when she confirmed the arrest of the suspected masterminds in Eldoret town, Telkom Kenya Head of Corporate Communications Angela Ng’ang’a-Mumo said the five were arrested in the joint operation led by Eldoret police chief Muindi Kioko.  The suspects are believed to be responsible for cable vandalism across the north rift through a network of operatives.

The five being held at the Eldoret Central Police Station, are expected to be arraigned in court to answer charges relating to cable vandalism and handling stolen goods following the recovery of copper and aluminum cables worth millions of shillings.

“Investigations confirm that the masterminds have been facilitating the rising cases of copper cable vandalism as they appear to be the main financiers.  Once vandalised, our cables are burned in clearings within a nearby forest to remove the rubber insulation and later sold to these masterminds for onward sale as scrap copper wire.”

On his part, Mr Kioko explained that acting on a tip off, the joint operation had managed to net the suspects and locate a residential house within Kapsoya estate suspected to be the nerve centre for the suspects.

While thanking the public for providing information leading to the arrest of the trio, Ms Ng’ang’a-Mumo confirmed that the firm’s adoption of community policing strategies was bearing fruit with more than a dozen arrests already made in a fortnight.

In Eldoret, she explained that scrap copper has now been nicknamed as DAWA and is retailing at between Sh160 and Sh200 in the backstreets.

“It is our sincere hope that the arrest of the five has effectively smashed the racket by breaking this commercial chain,” she said.

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Given the increase in cable cuts on Telkom Kenya’s network, the firm has also reiterated the fact that it’s still not ruling out the possibility of corporate sabotage.

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