Police lorry ferrying immigrants was stolen from station
A police lorry from Moyale that was intercepted in Meru transporting 80 Ethiopian immigrants was ‘stolen’ from the station.
Marsabit County commissioner Peter Thuku said on phone that the vehicle, belonging to the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, was not approved to leave the station.
Mr Thuku also disputed claims that the driver of the lorry who escaped arrest was a police officer.
He said a Sergeant William Kipchirchir, who was arrested and charged at a Maua Court on Tuesday, had engaged a civilian to drive the vehicle.
Sergeant Kipchirchir denied the charge of transporting 80 immigrants to an unknown destination and was remanded until August 21.
The County Commissioner said the official driver of the lorry is on leave.
He said the rogue police officer used an off-road route through Wajir County before entering Isiolo and Meru counties.
“The officer acted in violation of the Police Act and is a crook. We are concerned that a police officer can sneak a vehicle that has been entrusted to a station. He used a route that has no police barriers. This is a criminal and the law should take its course,” he said.
He termed the incident a misuse of government vehicle, adding that the arrested officer should be punished to act as a deterence to others.
“I am glad that the criminal was arrested before he accomplished his mission of misusing a government vehicle, ” said Mr Thuku.
Mr Thuku said the immigrants have avoided the Marsabit route due to increased surveillance along the Moyale-Marsabit road.
The police lorry was intercepted at Kangeta in Igembe Central on Tuesday as it tried to evade a Police dragnet following a tip off from members of the public.
The 80 immigrants said they were heading to South Africa in search of jobs.
Seventy eight of them were on Tuesday sentenced to three months in jail or a fine of Sh50,000 before repatriation.
The other two could not appear in court as they were sick.