Buyers of stolen cars to be let off the hook

Updated: June 4, 2011

Owners of vehicles impounded in an Interpol operation may not be charged in court for the thefts.

Interpol’s Nairobi office seems to be of the view that they were innocent buyers of vehicles stolen in other countries.

At the same time, Interpol and Kenya Revenue Authority denied press reports that a Range Rover belonging to suspended Higher Education minister William Ruto was one of the seized vehicles.

Mr Vitalis Okumu, the Chief of the Interpol’s National Central Bureau, said they had written to Japan and South Africa to brief them how the vehicles in question were stolen.

Most of the vehicles were stolen from the two countries and since the owners had genuine papers, it was important to first establish how they were stolen and transported to Kenya.

A total of 2,793 vehicles were subjected to checks in the two-day operation conducted on May 18 and 19. Thirty vehicles were impounded throughout the country.

The operation was prompted by the revelation that Kenya and other countries in the region were increasingly becoming the market for vehicles stolen by an international criminal ring from as far as the United Kingdom.

Mr Okumu said most of the vehicles impounded were Toyota Prados.

He said Interpol did not carry out any operation in Eldoret where Mr Ruto’s vehicle was alleged to have been impounded.

He also said for the sake confidentiality they would not release names of the people whose vehicles had been seized.

And in Eldoret, KRA said the ownership of the Range Rover seized by its officials had not been determined.

A report in Thursday’s Star claimed that the vehicle belonged to Mr Ruto.

A KRA official who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press said there was no information that links it to Mr Ruto.

On Thursday, guards at the KRA yard prevented photojournalists from taking pictures of the vehicle whose number plates had been removed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>