DCI warns of a criminal syndicate targeting taxi drivers and narrates how a taxi driver was hired in Nairobi CBD, robbed of his car and dumped in Gilgil.

Friday, February 16, 2024 - The DCI cautions taxi operators to be wary of an ongoing trend by criminal syndicates that are hiring taxi services for either long distances or trips with several pickup points while disguised as cash-rich customers, only to turn violent robbers along the way.

A member of a well-organized criminal ring identifies a target whom they deem vulnerable to a good deal of money out of the ordered trip, and whose car suits their need.

The "customer" negotiates with the taxi driver on the charges for the trip, and while on the way communicates with one or more accomplices who will be conveniently waiting along the route.

With promises of an extra inconvenience fee for the stop, the driver goes ahead to let onboard new passengers. 

On some occasions, the accomplices lie in wait at the drop-off point.

Usually, the route or destinations picked will have secluded areas, where the gangs turn against the drivers, robs them of their vehicles, and at times murder them in cold blood.

In one of the latest scenarios reported at Kikopey Police Post within Gilgil, Nakuru County on January 14, 2024, a 42-year-old male taxi operator in Nairobi CBD was hired by a customer to drive him to Nakuru using his motor vehicle Toyota Fielder.

Once in Naivasha, the customer requested that they pick up his two friends in the Karagita area before setting off towards Nakuru.

A short moment into the final stretch of the journey, the passengers turned against the male driver before robbing him of his vehicle and dumping him at the Diatomite area in Gilgil.

On receiving the report, a team of detectives from DCI HQs was deployed to launch a manhunt for the suspects, two of whom were traced to Bungoma County.

Francis Ojerepata Omoindi, 39 and Jack Odhiambo Otieno, 38 were arrested and the vehicle recovered, before being handed over to DCI Gilgil for further police action.

In their possession were seven SIM cards, five national ID cards, and two driving licences. 

Their case is ongoing at the Chief Magistrate's Court in Naivasha as pursuit for other accomplices continues.

While the DCI understands the challenge of identifying potential threats by hardworking taxi drivers who wait late to ensure their customers get to their destinations safely, we encourage operators to be vigilant and report any suspicion of danger to the police through the various police hotlines.

At the DCI, we remain committed to our key mandate of investigating serious crimes in the country and assure Kenyans that we shall continue serving with Dedication, Care, and Integrity.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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