25 March 2019

Kenya: Suspected Robbers Caught on CCTV Detained for 14 Days

"I was the rider of the motorbike that was captured on CCTV footage ferrying armed robbers after stealing from an M-Pesa operator at gunpoint in Makande, Mombasa."

Those were the words of a motorcyclist, Mr Brighton Johnstone Naiya, confessing to abetting a crime when he and four others were arraigned in Mombasa on Monday.

But Mr Naiya told the Mombasa Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno that apart from him, the four others arraigned alongside him were not the people he ferried from the robbery incident.

"I was the one wearing a red jacket in the CCTV footage that is doing round [on social media]. I can confirm that the main suspects captured in the video have not been arrested. Those who are paraded here together with me were not part of that team," the motocyclist said.

Mr Nayia, who according to the police helped the other suspects flee after robbing a woman of purse with Sh3000, told the court the police should do proper investigations.

The motorcyclist and his would-be accomplices Mr Chris Odhiambo, Mr Evans Munyoki, Mr Mohamed Hassan and Mr Nzamba Matonyi were arraigned in connection to a wave of armed robberies targeting M-Pesa shops across Mombasa town which has left one operator dead and several others nursing gunshot wounds.

The court granted the officer investigating the robbery, Ms Fatuma Rajab, 14 days to detain the suspects pending completion of her probe.

Ms Rajab told the court that several have been killed and others injured in the wave of armed robberies that has rocked the coastal city.

"I want more time to detain the suspects so that I can conduct an identification parade for four robbery incidences whose victims are still recuperating in the hospitals," she said.

Ms Rajab said she will mobile phones seized from the suspects will be also be analysed in bid to net their accomplices who are still at large.

The detective told the court she wants to establish if the suspects arraigned on Monday are linked to the shooting to death of Jones Obino, who was attacked on Saturday morning at his M-Pesa shop in Jomvu and Sh200,000 stolen from him.

"Mr Naiya and Mr Matonyi are boda boda operators who are being used by the armed robbers to facilitate their escape after the robbery. The remaining three are the suspected robbers. We want more time to establish this," the officer said.

The suspects did not oppose the police request to have them detained, only urging the court to review the CCTV footage keenly and set them free.

The suspects were ordered remanded at Changamwe Police Station.

The matter will be mentioned on April 11.


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