, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – The public have been warned to be wary of people posing as police officers, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru.
In the past week alone, up to ten cases of people conned or abducted by people posing as security agents complete with police uniforms and guns have been reported in the three towns.
On Monday night, three men who tried to ‘arrest’ a motorist for an unspecified crime were attacked on Moi Avenue in Nairobi and two of them killed.
“They were beaten to death but one was lucky to have escaped and we are looking for him,” Central divisional Police chief Tito Kilonzi said.
“Whoever is doing this out there should know that their days are numbered. But the public should be warned and scrutinise these people before they follow their instructions,” he added.
Nairobi Provincial Police chief Njue Njagi said the group was operating a cartel which targets people they suspect to be carrying huge sums of money or those they easily coerce to withdraw money from their own accounts.
“The two stoned last night (Monday) are a clear example of (the gangs’) activities. They carry pocket phones to harass motorists and even pedestrians,” he said.
In the Monday night incident, the men reportedly approached a motorist who had just parked his car outside Union Towers and tried to force him back, saying he was under arrest.
Sensing danger, the motorist became violent and the commotion attracted taxi drivers and by-standers who intervened and challenged the three men to identify themselves.
“That is when they produced what looked like pocket radios similar to those used by the police and insisted they were officers. But they were panicking and that is when we told them to produce their identity cards,” a taxi driver who requested to remain anonymous said.
“One of them immediately fled, leaving the two who were then beaten up by the public. When police arrived, they were already dead,” he added.
A street preacher who tried to pray for the souls of the two criminals escaped death narrowly when he condemned their killers.
“He can not purport to pray for criminals here, let him go or we do to him what we did to these two thugs masquerading as police officers,” one of the by-standers shouted.
On Friday, four men said to be part of the gang were arrested as they sped off on Processional Way in Nairobi moments after they robbed a man who had just withdrawn money from a bank on Muindi Mbingu Street.
The four suspects were driving a vehicle police said had been stolen when they saw a police vehicle behind them and thought they were being trailed.
“That is when the driver lost control of it and swerved, attracting the attention of our officers who were able to arrest them. The robbery victim was also in the vehicle and narrated what had happened,” the Nairobi Central police chief said.
“We recovered jungle uniform, pocket radios and a toy pistol,” he added.