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Rail officers stop cartel charging rooftop riders

A cartel operating on train rooftops and charging those crowding the area after missing space in the wagons has been stopped by the police.

Railways police said crowding of train rooftops started as desperate commuters fought to get to work or home in time, in spite of missing space inside the train wagons.

“When on the rooftops realised they were not being charged for the journey, they would go straight to the rooftops,” said a senior officer at the Railway station.

Later, a group of young men saw as an opportunity to make money by impersonating conductors and pocketing the collections.

They would charge up to Sh200 a month and would collect the money every end of the month, the officer said. 

A two week operation saw police arrest close to 30 men linked to the illegal business.

“After we started arresting people and charging them, the gang just disappeared,” he added.

Railways deputy officer in charge of station Richard Wairagu has, however, issued a warning to passengers who flout rules.

“We usually arrest people who get off the train before it has halted, he said.