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Man arrested again over fresh Narok arms

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Police on Monday re-arrested a Narok businessman after more than 30,000 bullets were recovered in his garage in the town.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said some of the bullets recovered were from the government’s bullets manufacturing factory in Eldoret while others were from the Czech Republic.

“It is a puzzle, we are trying to establish how these bullets are finding their way here,” he told reporters at Narok town where the bullets were found.

The prime suspect, Munir Ismail on whose premises the bullets were found was driven from Nairobi under tight security to witness as investigators opened a container and unpacked the bullets.

Mr Ismail’s lawyers Cliff Ombetta and Pravin Bowry were present at the garage which residents said he rarely operates. The businessman and his wife Nahid Tabasum had been arrested in December after police recovered another large consignment of bullets in the town.

They were charged alongside former Administration Police chief armourer Joseph Maritim and later released on bond.

The police commissioner told reporters that investigations were a follow up to the December 2009 recovery of over 100,000 bullets, the largest consignment to be found at ago.

“We received information yesterday (Sunday) that there were more bullets here, and that is when our officers visited the area and as you can see, we have recovered 31,211 bullets of various caliber,” he said.

A senior police officer who visited the scene early Monday told reporters there were about 50 dogs in the compound which they sedated and relocated before they commenced the operation.

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A crowd of over 2,000 people who had gathered to have a glimpse of the bullets, turned unruly when they spotted the prime suspect and started hurling stones at him, causing a security scare and even forced police to shoot in the air several times.

Mr Iteere, Rift Valley Provincial Police Chief Francis Munyambu and other senior officers had to retreat to their cars as officers dispersed the charged crowd which stoned police cars.

Police later managed to sneak away Mr Ismail to another location in Lenana, about three kilometers from Narok town where a further search was conducted on four containers but no illegal material was found.

The police chief who had arrived in the area in a helicopter was unable to go back to the stadium where the chopper was parked due to what senior officers described as “security reasons” but he later boarded it at a different location.

The suspect was also driven through a different route to Nakuru town and later to Nairobi after thousands of residents in Narok blocked the main highway to Nairobi and threatened to lynch him.

Mr Iteere who described the suspect as a “dangerous man” told reporters investigators were still trying to establish the destination of the bullets.

“We do not know the destination but I will be issuing a comprehensive statement later,” he said.

Tension was still high in Narok town by late Monday, but area PPO Mr Munyambu told Capital News he had deployed adequate security to maintain peace.

“We have enough forces on the ground, we have officers patrolling the area and they will continue doing it until peace prevails. We are also going to ensure the people do not destroy any property including that which belongs to the suspect or any other person.”

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