An understated reality in the recent social media updates by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detailing the operations of stupefying gangs that have been drugging victims and stealing from them in Nairobi’s entertainment venues is the involvement of rogue police officers in the criminal network.
The issue could be at the centre of investigation as some victims have overcome the possible shame and stigma to report their frustrations in the hands of the police suspected of colluding with the ‘mchele’ gangs, according to an account provided to the Sunday Nation.
In their four updates on Thursday and Friday in relation to the killing of Samuel Mugo Mugota in Mirema, Roysambu, only in two instances did the DCI mention “rogue” officers.
In one instance they wrote: “The slippery thug (Mugota) had connections at several police stations and whenever detectives launched a manhunt for him, he would be tipped off in time.”
Another one stated: “Efforts by detectives to arrest him (Denis Karani Gachoki, suspected to have been behind the killing of Mugota) have been futile since the thug, who is well-loaded, influences rogue cops who tip him off once an operation for his arrest has been launched.”
National Police Service spokesman Bruno Shioso had not responded to our questions about police involvement in the criminal network by the time of going to press.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti did not also immediately reply to our query on who the rogue officers were or what action will be taken against them.
As questions linger on the involvement of police in organised crime and whether any action will be taken against them, a complaint sent on May 6 to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) – which the Sunday Nation has seen – provides a glimpse into the alleged role that wayward police officers have been playing in the schemes to extort Kenyan men who fall into traps laid by cunning women at nightclubs.
The complaint was lodged by a man who requested not to be named because of his reputation.
Ipoa said in an email on Friday that the matter has been recommended for investigation.
“At the initial screening and assessment of your complaint, it was recommended for an investigation subject to further assessment within the authority. The authority shall update you on the way forward,” stated the authority.
The man had had an encounter with a woman he met at a city club, which led to two OB reports being filed with the police in two different police stations — one alleging he raped her and another of him saying she stole from him and that she was trying to extort him.
According to the man’s allegations, the woman took a condom they had used and made it a blackmailing tool.
The man believes he was a target of an extortionist gang connected with Mugota, who the DCI said had an extensive network of “over 50 beautiful women” who went out to prey on their victims.
In the DCI accounts posted on social media, condoms are part of the criminal network’s bag of tricks, whether or not there was intimacy. Some victims have reported having been drugged and, upon gaining consciousness, found themselves wearing a condom to help the women to distract their victims or create a narrative.
“Even those (men) found wearing condoms in their vehicles, the damsels would do it to deter the man from seeking assistance immediately they woke up,” wrote the DCI on Thursday. “Interestingly, none of the men who reported being stupefied remembered being intimate with any of the women.” A number of drugged men, the DCI said, have been found naked wearing condoms.
“The unforgiving daughters of Eve would even disappear with the victim’s pair of trousers as this gave them time to deliver the stolen items and seep the bank accounts dry,” they wrote.
In the Ipoa complaint seen by the Sunday Nation, the alleged victim believes the more prominent a person is, the easier it is for the suspected criminals and their police accomplices to blackmail them.
“They know what they will fix you with,” he told the Sunday Nation.
The man was required to part with a handsome figure lest he was dragged to court on rape charges. But, by Friday, he was yet to be charged. The alleged rape happened in early April.
“They usually want a lot of money. And you are told of a long channel of people who want their cut. The police want their cut; the woman wants hers,” he told the Sunday Nation.
“They have also found a way of working with DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) officers to pile pressure on you. You find yourself with at least four people to deal with. In the initial stages, I was required to part with Sh300,000,” he added.
In his complaint to Ipoa, the man accuses officers at the Kasarani Police Station of duping him that he was expected to go and file a report but in the end he was locked up in a cell in what he alleges was a ploy to force him into giving a bribe.
The man says the woman, who was part of the scheme, was even allowed to take a video of him being pushed into the cells. Hardly do police allow photography inside cells.
The man’s first report to the police was on April 11, he told Ipoa. He went to the Kasarani station to report “theft, extortion and blackmail” by the woman. He was later called to the station.
“(An officer) called me to the station at around 4.30pm. He informed me that the suspect in my case had come to the station and it would be important to go in person for positive identification before the next course of action,” he wrote to Ipoa.
He reached the station around 6pm and, shortly afterwards, he found himself on the receiving end by an officer.
“Little did I know that this policeman had, together with his proxy (the woman), planned to humiliate me in the most beastly manner,” he wrote.
“He mercilessly pulled me up and held me with my private part as he called for reinforcement. He called me a rapist and slapped me in the face,” he added.
He told Ipoa that he would later be pushed into a cell, in the process having his phone and watch damaged.
The officer who had locked him in, had told those around that the man would be spending the weekend in the cell. However, the man spent about an hour in the cell before being released after he called some senior officers.
“The concerned police officer is fully aware of my status in the society,” he wrote, noting that the officer was not even the one assigned to handle his earlier complaint. “This is a clearly choreographed scheme to intimidate, harass, extort and to instil fear in me.”
“The officer was in breach of the complaints handling procedure and deliberately colluded with and protected the suspect,” lamented the man, further asking that the officer be barred from handling any case involving him.
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