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Man charged with violent robbery for allegedly hailing online taxis, robbing drivers

A man accused of hailing online taxis in Huruma, a Nairobi suburb, while posing as a customer before robbing the drivers of cash, mobile phones and valuables at knife point has been charged with robbery with violence.

Ibrahim Ali is facing two counts of robbery with violence contrary to section 296 (2) of the Penal Code where he is accused of using actual violence to rob online cab drivers Isaack Ndambuki and Rachel Wacere on different dates in 2023.

He is accused of robbing Mr Ndambuki of his mobile phone worth Sh32, 000 while armed with a knife on June 29, 2023.

The suspect is also accused of robbing Ms Wacere of her mobile phone valued at Sh16, 500 and cash Sh6, 500 in the same area on August 24, 2023.

The suspect is reported to have threatened the complainants with violence during the alleged robberies.

The court heard Mr Ndambuki was dropping a passenger near Huruma police station at around 11pm when another client requested for a ride indicating he was in the same area.

Details of the client indicated they were a woman headed to an estate in Nairobi but when Mr Ndambuki went to pick the client, a man turned up with the phone used to request the ride.

The man told Mr Ndambuki that he is a brother to the woman that had requested for the ride and told him to follow his directions to where the woman was waiting.

The man guided Mr Ndambuki to a point where he claimed the woman was standing and left him there to call the woman.

He made several trips to the house and on the last, he turned up while armed with a knife and allegedly robbed Mr Ndambuki of his phone and fled into darkness.

Mr Ndambuki made a report at the Huruma police station. On August 29, 2023, at around 5am, Mr Ndambuki saw the man later identified as Mr Ali in the area and informed two police officers on patrol.

The officers arrested the suspect but found him with nothing and escorted him to the police station.

During investigations, police established that Ms Wacere had reported at the same station of being robbed in similar circumstances and summoned her.

Ms Wacere was dropping a client near the same police station when a client requested to be dropped in Eastleigh.

The client however claimed he wanted to pick his wife and children in Kiamaiko area to accompany him to Eastleigh but after driving for some time, Ms Waceke sensed danger and stopped.

The accused person then brandished a knife and threatened her before snatching her phone and purse that contained the money.

When she was summoned to the police station, she identified Mr Ali as the customer who robbed her.

The phone that Mr Ali was allegedly using to request for rides has not been recovered.

He denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi of the Makadara Law Courts and pleaded for lenient bail and bond terms through an advocate.

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