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Policeman was arrested with Sh10m Westgate loot

A police officer charged with possession of goods suspected to have been stolen from victims of the Westgate terror attack was arrested when he sought to exchange foreign currency at a bureau, a court heard on Monday.

The officer was found carrying foreign currency amounting to Sh10 million. 

A search of his house also led to the recovery of  a blood stained wallet, credit cards, cheque books and identification documents suspected to belong to a victim of the Westagate terror attack, the court heard.

Spring Valley police station boss Chief Inspector Michael Lemayian said Constable Benson Gachuhi Kihenjo was part of the police squad that was  deployed at the Westgate Shopping Mall on September 21 last year.

“ After we handed the operation to the Kenya Defence Forces, I received reports that Constable Kihenjo was seeking to exchange foreign currency with a value of Sh10 million. I ordered my deputy to record statements from people who had that information,” the OCS who testified in the case at Kibera court said.

He added that Kihenjo was also investigated over the disappearance of a machine used to make fake currency. The machine was an exhibit in another case reported at the station.

“ I decided to search his house at the police station and informed him of the same. He accepted and told me it would clear his name over the disappearance of the machine,” Mr Lemayian said.

Kibera principal magistrate, Jacintah Kwena heard that the policeman was also found with an iPhone, an identity card and three passport size photographs belonging to the victim and his two children.

“ We charged him because the reasons he gave for possessing the items were not satisfactory. He told us that he collected them from Westgate. We also found 115 fake United States dollars in his house,” Mr Lemayian said.

According to the OCS, all lost and found items are usually recorded and stored in the police station and should not be kept in officers houses. 

The case was adjourned to June 17.