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Three in court for robbing matatu crew in Eastleigh

Three men suspected to be members of a criminal gang that has been forcibly demanding money from public service vehicle (PSV) operators in Eastleigh, Nairobi, are facing charges of violent robbery.

The trio is accused of robbing a driver and matatu Sacco officials who’d declined to pay for operating in the area.

They are Hassan Hussein, Abdirahim Mohammed, and Khalid Abdi. They are battling charges of robbery with violence contrary to section 295 as read with section 296 (2) of the Penal Code.

The trio is accused of robbing matatu driver Jackson Maina Mwangi of Sh6,400 along First Avenue in Eastleigh on November 7, 2023, while armed with clubs among other items.

They are also facing two more similar charges where they are accused of robbing Sacco official Benjamin Muriuki of Sh7,200 and Ali Suleiman who lost Sh3000 and a mobile phone worth Sh10,000 during the alleged daylight robbery on the same date.

The three suspects are accused of using actual violence on the complainants during the alleged robberies which they carried out jointly with others at large.

They are facing an additional charge of creating a disturbance in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace in contravention of section 95 (1) of the Penal Code where they are accused of chasing after matatu drivers and attendants from the PSV stages.

The Directorate of Criminal InvestigationsĀ  (DCI) says the gang has taken control over the matatu stages in the area and has been forcibly collecting money from drivers and Sacco officials to allow them to pick up and drop passengers there.

The three victims of the robberies were attacked in the said area after declining to give money to the members of the gang.

Mwangi was intervening to rescue Muriuki who was being beaten and robbed of the money he had collected from drivers on behalf of the Saccos. He was also accosted, beaten up, and robbed.

The three suspected gangsters later accosted Suleiman and allegedly robbed him. The victims who were injured sought treatment before reporting the matter at the Eastleigh North police station.

Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Stahere offices took up investigations into the matter.

Two days later, the members of the gang returned to the area to harass matatu operators and passengers, and police were called in, and the three suspects were arrested.

DCI investigations established that the PSV operators in the area met recently to find a solution to the extortion problem by the gang and agreed that each of the Saccos operating in the area would hire officials to be positioned at the stages to oversee their operations.

This angered the members of the gang who vowed to put up a fight against the operators united against them and heightened violence against them from November 4.

The three suspects denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Hellen Okwani of the Makadara Law Courts and claimed that the matter arose out of a row over the parking space where they also claimed to be operating.

Detective Constable Benyamin Keter of Starehe DCI offices applied opposing bail and bond terms for the three suspects.

He said that their accomplices who escaped during the arrest were members of an organized criminal gang extorting money from targeted businesses including PSV operators in Eastleigh.

Okwani remanded the suspects in custody until February 26, 2024, when she will make a ruling on bail and bond after receiving a probation officer’s report on the three, which will inform her decision on the same.

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