Cop denies bullet smuggling, out on bail
A senior General Service Unit (GSU) officer at the centre of a suspected bullet smuggling racket was yesterday charged with being in possession of 2,040 rounds of ammunition.
David Okoth Opiyo, attached to the GSU Training School, denied the charge when he appeared virtually before Makadara Principal Magistrate Lewis Gatheru.
The prosecution alleges that on September 14, 2021 near Total petrol Station in Utawala area, Njiru sub-county, Nairobi, Opiyo was found in possession of 2,040 rounds of live ammunition of caliber 7.62x39mm special without a lawful justification from licensing officer.
The magistrate released him on a Sh1 million bond with a surety of similar amount or a cash bail of Sh500,000 pending the hearing of the case on January 8, 2022.
Opiyo was arrested last week after he allegedly faked an abduction.
Police have unearthed a thriving bullet-selling racket believed to involve rogue officers attached to the GSU Training School, Embakasi.
Some of the bullets smuggled from the institution, according to an ongoing multi-agency investigation, have been traced to insecurity hot spots such as Marsabit, Isiolo and Nanyuki.
A MP is also on the radar of detectives after it emerged he was to be supplied with some of the rounds of ammunition stolen from the GSU college.
Detectives handling the case are trying to establish the link between the racket and the recent mysterious disappearances and killings of GSU officers either attached to, or linked to, the Embakasi Training School armory.
GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja, however, dismissed claims that some rogue officers in the unit could be involved in smuggling of bullets, saying the unit had foolproof mechanisms to ensure that all ammunition supplied is accounted for.
“We conduct regular checks and counterchecking. In the event any bullet goes missing it is easy to trace the officer responsible,” he said.
On Tuesday last week, officers responding to a distress call along the Eastern Bypass recovered the bullets inside a vehicle, a Mitsubishi Lancer registration number KAT 887G, at a garage.
This week, police had recorded statements from witnesses including more than 10 officers, among them a Chief Inspector at the GSU Training Embakasi B-Company.
At least three GSU officers have recently disappeared without while three have been killed in unclear circumstances.
Kanja said the killings were under investigation. “Some of them were, however, not working in our armouries,” he said.
On August 21, security officers recovered 2,640 rounds of ammunition, believed to be from Embakasi Training School, from herders in the ongoing Laikipia operations.
Two days later, an instructor based at the school was killed a few kilometres from where the rounds of ammunition had been recovered.