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Detectives warn electricity infrastructure vandals

Five sacks of vandalised alluminum wires have been recovered at a palatial home in Mutonguni, Machakos County, following an operation that was conducted by officers from the Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau and investigators based at the Kenya Power & Lighting Company.

Following the raid, the owner of the house Josphat Mutuku alias mrefu, a notorious suspect believed to be the leader of an elaborate syndicate of vandals who target installations along the country’s electricity lines was arrested.

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In a statement from DCI, detectives have intensified a crackdown on a syndicate responsible for vandalism of electricity transformers, cables, electrical apparatus and other electricity infrastructure leading to huge loses to the government and electricity consumers.

According to a report from KPLC, the power distributor had recorded over 220 incidents of vandalism in the country from January to June this year, with Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, and Nakuru Counties accounting for over half of the reported incidents.

This resulted to frequent power blackouts that became the order of the day in the worst hit areas, leading to losses in millions of shillings.

Last year, detectives working with KPLC-based investigators unearthed an elaborate network of third party agents who were working with crooked former employees of the power distributor, to intentionally occasion blackouts in order to generate income through reconnection of power.

This was achieved through vandalism of crucial parts of transformers, before the agents masquerading as Kenya Power officials approached the affected area residents and reconnected power to their homesteads at a fee.

In the well-orchestrated transgression, the thugs would sabotage efforts by KPLC to restore power supply by removing fuses from transformers, immediately the KPLC emergency teams had left the sites.

This was done in a bid to frustrate consumers further, so that they would yield to their demands.

As a result, the government issued a moratorium on scrap metal dealings, after investigations revealed that scrap metal trade was responsible for runaway vandalism of critical national infrastructure, targeting materials used for electricity connection, road and railway construction, in a vice bordering on economic sabotage.

A dedicated team of officers from the Directorate is working closely with investigators based at the electricity distribution company, to stem this vice once and for all.

The DCI has urged members of the public with any information regarding vandalism of any critical national infrastructure to report to #FichuakwaDCI on 0800 722 203.

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