Malaysian doctor loses Sh400K in Koinange Street hotel
A Malaysian doctor lost cash and property worth Sh400,000 at the Salehe Hotel along Koinange Street in Nairobi Central Business District last weekend.
Dr Lau Hua Bing had spent four days at the hotel before the first incident in which the hotel’s employee, who has gone into hiding, allegedly stole $800 (Sh80,000) on Friday evening.
The second incident happened the next day where another $1,400 (Sh140,000) in cash, a laptop worth Sh75,000, travel documents including passports and vaccination cards were stolen from his carrier bag.
Bing checked into the hotel on Monday, February 17 after flying from Kigali, Rwanda. The hotel is owned by ousted Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu.
The foreigner was allocated room 303 at the hotel’s third floor but found the room to have faulty safes.
“I discovered the safe in the room was not working and no working desk either. I told one of the hotel’ staff who had helped me carry the luggage but failed to report to the reception. I had said no one should be allowed into my room in my absence even for cleaning purposes,” Bing said.
“I had no choice but to lock my carrier bag which contained my Malaysian passport, identity card, yellow fever vaccination card, Citibank credit card, cash USD 3200, Malaysia currency RM500 (Ksh 10,000), Rwanda fran 30,000 (Ksh3,000), Ush83000 (KSh2,000), into my big check-in luggage.”
The hotel employee who is being sought by the police never returned to work thereafter. The employee is captured by CCTV opening Bing’s room where he spent about 20 minutes.
Bing walked in one hour later to find his bag open. Tourist Police Unit Commander Jostine Barmao said they are looking for the staffer but did not give his identity.
On Friday, when the first theft took place, Bing spent 30 minutes at the restaurant having dinner then returned to the room only to find his carrier bag opened. He checked and found that the $800 had been stolen but everything else was intact. He complained to the hotel.
The CCTV footage was viewed on Saturday morning and the staffer said to have access to all rooms was captured opening Bing’s room with his card. The rooms are opened with an access card and the missing employee’s card can access all rooms.
“They had seen the incident, that Eric, the deputy cleaner supervisor had accessed my room while I was having my dinner inside their restaurant. He stayed in my room for more than 20 minutes,” Bing said.
“I complained about the non-functioning safe and they allowed people to access my room without my permission. The hotel owner’s daughter had promised to sort it out for me on following Monday which I refused as my returning to Malaysia on the same day.”
Bing reported the matter at the Central Police Station on Saturday and was issued with an abstract. The TPU officers visited the hotel on Monday afternoon and interviewed him.
“Since the hotel owner knew the two incidents were taking place in their hotel and my money amounting to $3200 had been stolen, I should be compensated. The police investigation should have followed immediately. I believe the hotel should have insurance to cover the losses,” Bing said.