MOMBASA, KENYA: Mombasa police have captured three police impostors who had kidnapped a businessman outside a bank after a high speed car chase in the coastal city.
A fourth man escaped and police indicate they are closing in on him. The businessman who was abducted outside the bank, handcuffed by the fake policeman and bundled into a waiting car was freed after police on patrol intercepted the illegal arrest.
The men seized Mahfudh Abdalla Ali outside the bank, introduced themselves using fake ID cards as anti-terrorist police in search of a suspect. They then bundled him into a waiting car, after cuffing him and snatched 2200 US dollars which he had just withdrawn from his account.
On Thursday Patrick Nzioka Ndeti, Harrison Makuthu Samuel and Robert Mutinda Mutiso were charged with impersonation and illegal arrest outside a bank on Nyerere Avenue in Mombasa.
The charge sheet alleges the three “assumed the powers of police officers by arresting Mahfudh Abdalla Ali and handcuffed him knowing that they are not police officers.”
Sources within the police indicate the state will introduce new charges including kidnapping, robbery, false imprisonment and illegal possession of government handcuffs.
Reports indicate the suspects are on bond facing similar charges in a Nyahururu court and recently entered Mombasa town after their release.
A witness to Tuesday’s drama told The Standard that the men pounced on Mahfudh outside the bank after he had just left the institution, wrestled him to the ground, claiming to be anti-terrorist police.
Before passersby could react to the unfolding drama with Mahfudh screaming for help the false policemen whipped out the handcuffs and cuffed him and then threw him onto the floor of a waiting car.
As they sped away police on patrol responded to an alarm and gave chase blocking the escaping suspects but as the car screeched to a halt one of the occupants jumped out and melted into the alleys.
Mombasa police said this kind of crime has become common in the coastal city with the impostors launching broad daylight heists mainly outside banks after trailing customers.
Sources indicate these criminals work in concert with some bank employees who alert them about huge deposits and cash withdrawals.
After the “arrests” businessmen and other depositors are bundled into vehicles, driven out of town, robbed and beaten and abandoned outside the city.