A police investigator has narrated to a Kibera court how a driver, hired to deliver an imported vehicle from Mombasa to Nairobi, faked a robbery and car-jacking incident and conspired with a suspected car theft syndicate to steal the car.
The investigator, Reuben Onyiego, said the fake crimes were reported at at the Lang’ata Police Station and detectives at the Flying Squad office took up the investigation but did a poor job.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) intervened in the probe to smash the syndicate and arrested five suspects.
Kibera Chief Magistrate Abdulkadir Lorot heard that the vehicle belonging to Nairobi businessman was stolen on September 2, 2016 while the suspects were charged in December 2017 because of the delayed investigation.
The suspects, David Ronoh, Titus Buluma, Robert Bett, Judy Ndichu and Joel Wanda, who are also car dealers, are staring at a possible imprisonment for seven years for stealing the imported car valued at Sh1.2 million.
They are also facing a charge of conspiring to steal the vehicle, a Toyota Fielder registration number KCJ 879D.
The investigator testified that the driver of the missing car, John Chebii, reported at Langata Police Station that he had been robbed the car and his mobile phone on the Southern Bypass at 8pm on September 2, 2016.
But investigations revealed that the report booked the same night was a fabrication so as to facilitate the theft and sale of the car which has never been recovered.
He told court that investigations established that the car’s registration number plates were removed at the Southern bypass and it was driven to a residential apartment in the area before been disposed to unknown person and place.
“We gathered evidence from residents and watchmen and there was no a car high jacking or a robbery with violence incident as reported by Mr Chebii. It was false report. The occurrence register of the residential apartment revealed that the car with no number plates spent the night there,” said the witness.
The further court heard that the port clearing and forwarding agent, Mr David Ronoh and the driver never notified the businessman about the progress on delivery of the car from Mombasa.
“We discovered that the driver was in contact with the accused persons but not the owner of the car, meaning there was a conspiracy among all the accused persons and the driver,” testified Mr Onyiego.
The witness said call data from Safaricom indicated that the driver was in frequent communication with the accused persons and not the businessman who had given him the job.
“Despite being paid Sh4,100, he failed to speak to his client until at night when he claimed that the car had been stolen. In Mombasa he did not even ask for money to fuel as it had been agreed,” said the witness.
The arrangement was that the clearing agent and the driver would notify the complainant when leaving Mombasa, the court heard.
The investigator produced more than a dozen documents to confirm the importation of the car and clearance by government agencies such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Kenya Port Authority.
Mr Onyiego told the court that the driver was later reported dead though he was unable to get official documents such as burial permit and death certificate.
“Mr Chebii’s wife refused to give the documents. I only got a newspaper cutting for his death and funeral announcement indicating that the demise was caused by a tragic road accident in Garissa,” said the officer.
The matter is coming up Thursday at 2pm for cross examination of the State witnesses.