Kitale Police Station has been turned into a tax collection centre by police officers pretending to to track down chang’aa and busaa brewers.
Also collecting illegal tax are traffic police officers led by a notorious police sergeant Elizabeth Chepkoech who also doubles as a driver of the traffic police van that she uses to harass and allegedly extort from motorists.
The locals now want Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to intervene and transfer or sack the officers with immediate effect.
The officers who extort money from chang’aa and busaa brewers after arresting them include an inspector of AP who was recently deployed to the police station.
“This people have been collecting millions of shillings from brewers and road users thus denying the government tax. We want the Director of Criminal Investigations to send and an independent team to probe the menace,” a police reservist who declined to be named said.
Traffic officers have also erected eight illegal collection centres in all roads entering and leaving town.
Meanwhile during an operation carried out by DCI and KPR officers, three suspects identified as Cleophas Wafula, 32, Lazaro Ogola, 31, and Shadrack Fwamba, 21, were arrested and currently being held at Kitale Police Station. Police recovered a pistol, three magazines and 174 rounds of ammunition belonging to a businessman.
Trans Nzoia county police commander Ayub Ali told members of the press that they believe it was an inside job where an Asian businessma lost the Beretta pistol from his home.
The businessman owns a chain of businesses that includes several supermarkets in Kitale, Bungoma, Eldoret and Kisii among other towns.
Other items that were recovered includes OGW medals, music speakers, iron box, gas cylinder, DVD player, handbags, jiko and assorted items.
Money was also stolen but the Asian businessman was unable to disclose the amount.
While displaying the recovered items at the station, Ali said it was a breakthrough as officers made a swift move in search of the gun.
“With the help from members of the public we managed to recover the gun from a rental room at Lavington estate,” he said.
“The loss of the gun was a security threat and it is laudable that my officers managed to recover it. We suspect there could be another gun since the third magazine does not belong to the businessman,” he said.
He said that they will request the court to give them time to hold the suspects longer to facilitate investigations.
He cautioned businesspeople to vet those they want to recruit to ensure they employ honest individuals.
Accompanied by county Criminal Investigation Officer Grace Mauklupe, Ali warned unscrupulous businessmen in Kitale who buy and sell stolen property.
The issue of burglary has become rampant in the area but the officer vowed to tame the vice.
He also warned his officers against taking bribes from illegal brewers and road users saying those promoting the menace will be dealt with accordingly.
Ali also asked members of the public to avoid bribing his officers and instead report them to his office for quick action!