Retired athlete Elijah Mutai and his family were on Monday October 26 attacked In Uasin Gishu County by six armed gunmen who posed as police officers.
The impersonators, who were dressed in official police attire, had duped the guards into believing that they were in pursuit of a suspect in the compound. At around 10 pm, Mutai was surprised to see police officers at his door.
The former athlete was interrogated by the fake sleuths who accused him of being a thug. Both he and his family endured a three-hour ordeal in which Mutai gave up his priced possessions.
“They accused me of being a thug and demanded money. Two of them had guns. I pleaded for my life and asked them to take all they wished instead,” he said.
The robbers made away with electronics, utensils as well as Mutai’s car. The retired athlete added that the armed gunmen tortured him.
Uasin Gishu police authorities stated that investigations had been launched and ensure the suspects were brought to book.
During the 2005 Chungcheon marathon, Mutai set a personal best record of 2:09:27 in Korea. He is currently a coach in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
This was not the first time criminals had devised devious tactics to target Kenyan athletes.
During the 2013 World Cross Country Champions in Kampala, Milcah Chemos faced the same ordeal as she lost her smartphone worth Ksh50,000 and other personal belongings. The World 3000m champion had gone to cheer her counterparts but ended up losing her personal belongings.
“I was in a crowd cheering my teammate to tighten her steps to beat her Ethiopian rival who was in front when I realised something was wrong with my handbag. I noticed some boys who were running away from the scene mysteriously. I reported the issue to the nearby police officers.”
“They (police officers) just looked at me saying there is nothing they could do with some laughing,” she narrated.
In April 2014, France International Abraham Kiprotich was rescued by the police officers after the athlete was kidnapped by armed gunmen. Kiprotich narrated that the gunmen took him to the bank and tried to compel the athlete to withdraw all his funds.
“While in the bank, I managed to send a text message to the Kapsabet DCIO who then sent police officers to rescue me,” said Kiprotich.
Criminals have devised new strategies to rob unsuspecting victims and at the same time evade police arrests. The Directorate of Criminal Investigation has enhanced its crackdown on impersonators and fake police officers following the arrest of one of the suspects on July 18, in Parklands, Nairobi.
Police recovered a Ceska pistol, 27 rounds of ammunition, a military smoke jacket, two empty magazines, two walkie talkies, white bulletproof vest, a pair of handcuffs, several rolls of suspected bhang and several badges.
In August, an impersonator purporting to work in Interior CS Fred Matiang’ is docket was also arrested. The suspects were accused of awarding fake tenders and leading a syndicate.