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City cop arrested for demanding ‘protection fees’ from chang’aa trader

Officers attached to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) have nabbed a policeman accused of demanding “protection fees” from a local trader dealing in illicit brew.

A statement from EACC indicates, Abdi Kiano badge No. 226374, is accused of extorting the trader of an unknown amount of money. He’s been booked at the Kilimani Police Station pending arraignment.

“EACC has this evening arrested Police Officer No. 226374 Cpl Abdi Kiano based at Kahawa West Police Station in Nairobi for demanding and receiving a bribe from a local trader as “protection fees” to allow her to operate the business of selling illicit brew (chang’aa).

The suspect has been booked at Kilimani Police Station pending further action tomorrow (Wednesday),” said EACC in a statement.

His arrest comes in the wake of an incident in which 17 people were killed in Kirinyaga in February 2024, prompting protests from residents who burnt a bar.

Earlier this week, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua held a scheduled high-level meeting with security chiefs, a move that underscores the government’s commitment to public health and safety.

The agenda for this gathering was to devise a comprehensive strategy to combat the sale and consumption of illicit brews across the country.

This was in response to the growing concerns over the health implications and societal impact of these substances. Gachagua’s approach is not only punitive but also involves collaboration with various government agencies to ensure a sustained fight against this menace.

Last week, Gachagua said stringent measures will be rolled out to wipe out illicit brews and drugs destroying the lives of hundreds of Kenyans from next week.

The Deputy President said it would not be business as usual as destructive drinks kill people and maim others, promising a tougher response to effectively deal with the vice.

“So I want to announce here on behalf of the president. If you are a police officer and you own a bar. Resign and run the bar. Or stop operating the bar and continue working in the service,” Gachagua stated.

The deputy president spoke during the funeral service of 17 people who died after consuming illicit liquor at Kangai and Kandongu villages in Kirinyaga County.

The liquor was part of exhibits seized from local illicit brew traders that were being stored at the Kiamaciri Police Station.

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