Phone technology hands detectives murder clue

Monday, October 7th, 2019 00:00 |
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti. Photo/FILE

Using the latest mobile phone technology and forensic analysis, detectives have cracked the circumstances surrounding the killing of Rai Cement Factory general manager Chetan Vyas and arrested eight suspects.

Yesterday, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Nairobi, arrested three suspects linked to the killing of  Vyas, to bring the number to eight.

Sources within DCI said the three— Michael Nicholus Mibei (42), Hilary Cheruiyot (36) and Daniel Ruto (52)— were arrested following an intelligence operation in Kipsitet, Kericho.

Detectives in the case now believe that the killing may have been linked to a parcel of land on which the cement factory sits. The three suspects had sold  part of the land to the firm.

Sources said the arrest of the three yesterday came after  detectives from Nairobi  recovered parts of a destroyed Samsung Note 9 phone that belonged to the late Vyas.

After killing Vyas, the suspects are said to have stolen his phone, among other items.  They later moved to conceal all evidence by destroying the handset.

However, detectives searching the homestead, came across part of the phone with the late Vyas’s sim card and the Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network Number.

“Unfortunately for them, they had at one time inserted their sim cards into the handset for use, which directly implicated them,” a source privy to the investigations said.

“The phone was one of the items robbed from the victim either during or after the killing,” the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti told People Daily.

Erase evidence

Kinoti said the suspected killers destroyed the phone to totally erase traces of evidence, not knowing that detectives were armed with the latest technology.

The  arrest of the three came as five other suspects are set to be arraigned at a Milimani court today in connection to Vyas’s killing.

Detectives zeroed in on the five following forensic investigations that placed them at the crime scene.

DCI identified the suspects as Azim Salim (38), Osman Noor Mohamed (24), ex-Saudi Arabia and Qatar security guard Shabdin Esmail (29), Mohamed Shahid Saleh (38), and Yacoob Wali (24).

“After extensive forensic investigations of the crime scene in the residential house and entire vicinity where the victim was murdered on the night of September 22 and 23, DCI detectives have arrested and detained five factory workers in respect to the gruesome murder and are now assisting with investigations. All are loading supervisors in Rai Cement Factory from Mombasa town,” said  Kinoti.

Kinoti urged companies seeking to employ people who have received security training or been employed in foreign countries to always seek clearance from his office as such individuals have a tendency of being dangerous.

According to the DCI, the five are suspected of killing Vyas because they had warning letters of looming sacking after reportedly stealing cement.

“The manager was strict and was a marked man. We are equally warning those who employ foreign trained or those previously employed as security personnel in foreign countries to always seek DCI clearance, which is always done through Interpol coordination ,” he said.

Thwart theft

On Saturday, it emerged that Vyas was could have  been eliminated after he reportedly tried to thwart a cement theft plot by staff members at Rai firm.

Preliminary investigations indicated that Vyas was killed on September 22 by unknown men, who gained access to his Kipsitet house in Kericho county through the roof.

Kericho deputy county police commander Patricia Nasio, told the press that after accessing Vyas’s bedroom, a three-man gang tied his hands and legs, and, thereafter, strangled him. His body was discovered the next day by a house help, who had gone to serve him tea. 

Surveillance cameras installed outside the house had been tampered with, said Nasio.

A watchman said to have been involved in the murder was among the first suspects to be arrested by sleuths.

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