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More policemen arrested in Kenya heist

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 24 – Police have recovered Sh5.6 million believed to be part of the Sh25 million stolen in Nairobi on Wednesday.

They have also arrested six more suspects, five of who are regular police officers, bringing the total number of those in custody to twelve.

A source familiar with the on-going probe and search for the money told Capital News that the five officers are attached to a specialised unit in Nakuru.

The sixth is a woman said to be the wife of a police officer who is also in custody.

Police said the woman was arrested when police intercepted a private car she was traveling in on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and recovered a sack with the money.

"She is helping us in the investigations, because through her, we are able to know where she found the money and the people she had been talking to," a senior police officer said.

By late Wednesday, police had announced the recovery of Sh1 million. The Thursday recovery therefore ups that figure Sh6.6 million.

Head of the Special Crime Prevention Unit Richard Katola whose unit is heavily involved in the investigations was not available for comment on Thursday as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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Our source said four police officers who were arrested were trailed to Kikopey where investigators believe they had gathered to coordinate the transfer of part of the loot, or to aid those transporting the money.

They were not found with any amount of money or material that can be linked to the heist but detectives said one of them had been in constant communication with a suspect who was arrested immediately the robbery occurred.

"The officers were driving towards Elementaita when they were arrested," a police officer said.

Police also said they were interrogating some four staff of the G4S security company to help unravel the mystery surrounding the robbery that has puzzled security agencies.

"We are making very good progress, we are about to get all of them. Anyone who was involved will have to face the law; we are getting very good information and we hope to arrest them very soon," Flying Squad chief Julius Ole Sunkuli said.

The suspects had been transferred to Nairobi, he said.

Meanwhile, an Administration Police officer who was found unconscious while clutching his MP5 rifle in the G4S security van is still admitted to the Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi.

Mr Sunkuli said the officer was still undergoing medication in hospital under tight security "because he is a suspect".

"We are waiting to have him discharged so that he can record statements with us. He is a potential source of information because he encountered the people who offloaded the money from the van," he said.

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The money was stolen when an unknown man walked to a security van loaded with money and parked outside Yaya Centre shopping mall.

The man is well captured on Closed Circuit TV images as he walked casually to the van, before he drove it off with an Administration Police man still on board.

The van was then followed by a white saloon car with three occupants.

The security van was recovered about three hours later, parked outside an office apartment block on Chania Avenue with the Administration Policeman still on board but heavily sedated.

He held onto his MP5 rifle which his colleagues said was loaded with 25 rounds of ammunition.

Guards nearby said they saw three men hurriedly offload what looked like money bags before they drove off in the saloon car, leaving the security van behind.


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