New Extortion Scheme by Police Officers

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Officers located at various police stations were accused of obtaining money through cash bails, after sanctioning arbitrary arrests, which Chief Justice David Maraga directed them to avoid during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

CJ David Maraga, while suspending courts in March 2020 after Coronavirus broke out, also directed officers to avoid detaining petty offenders to curb the spread of Covid-19. Station Commanders were tasked with overseeing the release of suspects on bond or cash bail. 

While cash bails legitimise arrests, those who part with money are reportedly not allowed to leave the stations with original receipts. Casualties claimed that they were either forced to sign or surrender the receipts to be released. 

At Buru Buru Police Station, a suspect lamented that he was reportedly arrested for flouting curfew orders and was later released on a Ksh 5,000 cash bail.

“I was told to sign the original receipt I had earlier been issued with to confirm that I had been refunded my cash,” the suspect allegedly notified EACC.

The EACC launched investigations after numerous reports were filed over the new scheme. The agency centred its focus on Pangani Police Station where a woman was denied her receipt after paying Ksh 10,000 cash bail for a relative.

However, one Station Commander argued against the claim, stating that the cash bail system posed several challenges on them, from storing millions of shillings to suspects running away after being released on bail.

“In other cases, the suspects are the ones who request that they informally forfeit the cash bail,” a Senior Officer stated while speaking with 254 Breaking News 

The new extortion scheme came to light after several bribery cases were foiled with Kenyans put on the spotlight for bribing officers. More than 60 people were arrested on Thursday, June 25 for trying to find their way into Nairobi illegally before lockdown and cessation of movements were lifted.

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