NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – Four people including two Administration Police (AP) officers were arrested late on Friday over the theft of some Sh40 million which disappeared while on transit to Juba, South Sudan.
The cash had just been collected from a bank in Westlands when it disappeared, and the G4S security van carrying it found abandoned on Chemelil Road in Ngara.
An escort saloon car was left outside the bank with the two APs and a G4S driver who were arrested.
The fourth person arrested is a G4S employee who claimed that he was left behind when he alighted to adjust a side mirror of the van as it approached Ngara before it sped off with the driver and an AP on board.
“We have arrested the four, we are now looking for the driver of the van and the AP. They both abandoned the vehicle in Ngara and fled but we have not been able to locate them,” Flying Squad chief Julius ole Sunkuli said.
The security van was found abandoned in Ngara without the money.
Mr Sunkuli said they were questioning those arrested to ascertain if they played a part or had any information that will help in the investigations.
Another senior officer told Capital News the two AP officers and the G4S driver of the escort car claimed they failed to follow the van immediately it was loaded with money at the bank because the driver realised he did not have the right ignition key.
The driver claimed the key he was using was substituted as they waited for the money to be loaded in the van.
He reportedly told police that he realised the key at the ignition could not start the vehicle immediately they boarded it and that is when he communicated to the security firm’s headquarters.
The fourth person arrested also told police the van sped off but he was asked to alight and adjust a side mirror, only to see the vehicle speeding off with cash on board.
G4S Director of Sales and Marketing Betty Keitany-Koech later sent a statement to newsrooms saying the security van was laoded with US$300,000.
“G4S communications centre reported the disappearance of vehicle at around 13.45 pm today (Friday). The vehicle was to head to G4S from a cash collection from a customer premises in Westlands area,” she said in the statement.
And added: “The latest information is that the vehicle has been found.”
She did not state if the money had been recovered.
In another e-mailed statement, she stated that “ this was forex on its way to Juba.”
Those arrested were being interrogated at the Parklands Police station where police indicated they would spend the night in custody as investigations got underway.
Witnesses at Ngara where the G4S security van was found abandoned said they saw the AP and the driver of the vehicle alight before they walked to different destinations.
“The AP was in uniform and he asked me if there were taxis around. I directed him where he can find one but he did not follow that direction. I also saw him replacing his phone SIM card,” a witness who asked not to be named said.
All the witnesses interviewed did not state if they saw the two men offloading cash from the van that was found empty.
In September, Sh25 million was stolen in an almost similar robbery that occurred at Yaya Centre.
Six Administration Police officers and four regular police were sacked at the time and arraigned in court where they were charged over the theft of Sh33 million.