Judicial officer in Kericho held over theft of vehicles
A judicial officer at the Kericho Law Courts has been arrested by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers in connection with a vehicle theft syndicate.
Allan Osale was arrested after two high-end vehicles stolen from a yard in Nyali area, Mombasa, five years ago, were traced to his Syokimau residence in Machakos county.
Yesterday, Osale appeared before Milimani Principal Magistrate Francis Andayi and was released on a Sh300,000 cash bail or a bond of Sh500,000 with a surety of a similar amount.
Andayi set hearing of the case for October 11, 2019.
In what points to a possible entrenched organised crime, the registration numbers had been altered and new chassis numbers for both vehicles super-imposed.
The two Toyota Land Cruiser V8 (Reg No. KBW 122H and KBQ 805T) were part of five vehicles stolen at Nippon Korea Investments Kenya Ltd yard in Nyali, Mombasa, in 2014.
“After investigations from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) it was established the real registered number for the two motor vehicles was KBW 122H and KBQ 805T respectively owned by Nippon,” the head of Parklands based Counterfeit and Contraband Unit, acting Superintendent of Police David Kiprop Chebii, said.
After the vehicles in question were recovered from his Syokimau home in 2018 and towed to Parklands Police Station in Nairobi, the official has been under active investigation.
In a bid to conceal identity, Osale who investigators believe is part of a wider organised criminal network, had altered the registration numbers to KBU 933N and KBQ 260Z.
According to Chebii, investigations conducted by the NTSA further revealed that the vehicles’ chassis numbers had been changed.
Chebii said the matter was booked under OB76/13/11/1 at Parklands Police Station and described the arrest of Osale as a major breakthrough in motor vehicle thefts.
The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has intensified crackdown against car theft gangs some of whom have cross-border links.
The crime has scaled to cross border dimensions precipitated by a pattern of carjackings on the Kenyan highways targeting private cars.