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Extortion ring: IPOA report exposes Kasarani and Kitengela police stations

The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) on Thursday, July 13, 2023, released a report on how police officers have been extorting money from alcohol-selling joints.

In a statement, IPOA said that it had received numerous reports from members of the public and traders in the business that officers were collecting bribes in the joints.

The investigations have put police officers in Kasarani and Kitengela police stations over how they were collecting money.

“Following numerous complaints from traders and patrons, IPOA moved in to establish the veracity of the grievances that the police were abusing their powers to extort money at alcohol- selling outlets,” the statement read in part.

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It was then that they launched an investigation over the complaints as they also closely watched the behavior of the police officers.

IPOA officers then started closely monitoring the officers’ behavior while they were on their normal patrols.

“Monitoring activities were conducted around pubs, bars, and wine and spirits stores as a result of allegations of extortion by police officers,” the statement further read.

The IPOA investigators were perplexed to learn that it had already become a norm for police officers to keep on collecting bribes.

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In Kitengela, located in the outskirts of Nairobi County, the exercise exposed an alliance between junior police officers and their bosses.

“The juniors would collect money from traders and hand it over to the commander. There were such junior officers who collected bribes from the bars and liquor stores on behalf of the officer in charge at Kitengela Police Station whom they had nicknamed Bensouda,” the report further read.

In Kasarani, police officers were spotted collecting bribes from gambling joints instead of enforcing the ban on outlawed gambling machines.

The operations targeting harassment of alcohol traders were among 59 investigations conducted during the last six months of 2022.

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