My encounter with rogue flying squad officers in Nairobi’s CBD, this country has gone to the dogs.

As I write this, I am still shaken by my encounter with #RogueFlySquadOfficers. I had gone to pick a parcel sent to me by Job W King from Naivasha via NNUS Sacco. It was around 9.00.

I had parked near the junction of Shiekh Karume and River road. There was still traffic around the area and so I decided to stroll a bit and find a place to take a cup of tea as I waited for the traffic to subside.

I went to a cafe near Latema Road. I left the cafe at around 10.00pm. I had not gone very far when I was accosted by a guy in a green dust coat.

The short guy in a black jacket & stripped sweater put hand cuffs on one of my wrist.I demanded that they show me their police ID.Two of them produced IDs with Police logo (couldn't verify their authenticity though)

After seeing the IDs, I obliged and they put the handcuffs on both of my wrists. They then started handling me in a very intimidating manner saying that they suspect I am a drug peddler around river road.

They took me round town through Accra Road, Tsavo Road, Latema Road. Back to River road and then to Konja Mosque stage. By now they were inquiring how much money I was willing to part with to secure my freedom.

They were deliberating among themselves whether to take me to central or to hand me over to kanjo. I requested that I make a call to my girl friend to at least notify her that I have been arrested.

My suggestion that I be allowed to make a call made some of them very mad (especially the one in a black dust coat). They started threatening that they will charge me with all manner of charges.

This behaviour heightened my doubts. I was not sure whether this were real police officers or criminals pretending to be police officers. It is then that they started taking me towards Globe round about.

For those who know the area, it is isolated and dark. I resisted but they were now starting to get agitated. I was adamant that I will not give a bribe but now I was beginning to feel completely unsafe.

I have read stories online of criminals masquerading as cops who have forced people to withdraw cash on ATMs, stolen money and phones from victims or even maimed or killed their victims.

I was getting really shaken the more we approached the dark stretch. I was now convinced that I was dealing with criminal element. I yielded and had to part with a bribe of 4,000 shillings to secure my freedom.

After some deliberations among themselves, they accepted the bribe and the short guy in a black jacket and stripped sweater unfastened the handcuffs and let me go.

The guy had even the nerve to ask me to ongezea yeye 1K because he is the one who persuaded the rest of his colleagues to accept the bribe. I was so mad.

From their behaviour, I had assumed that these were criminals pretending to be cops but I was to find out soon that I was wrong.

On my way back, I asked several security guards whether they knew these guys and whether they were criminals or police officers. They informed me that these were flying squad officers stationed at Central Police.

I was informed that they are common around river road especially around the junctions between River rd and accra rd, Latema rd and Luthuli avenue. They operate at night.

I was informed that their work is to target innocent people who seem loaded. They will then manufacture outrageous crimes and claim that you sell drugs or you were visiting a brothel or you were planning to rob....

They will then take you round town, working on you physiologically until you yield and part with a bribe. I am told that they can also be dangerous and rob you. They are well known around the river rd area.

I can accurately identify 3 of the 4 men and I request the Directorate of Criminal Investigations - DCI if possible to organize and identification parade of the flying squad officer operating from central police.

I also pray that the new IG of the National Police Service will work towards reducing the cases of police harassment and extortion.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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