by Rofina Media
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Detectives have ramped up efforts to combat a syndicate responsible for damaging electricity transformers, cables, and other power infrastructure, leading to significant financial losses for both the government and electricity consumers. In a joint operation involving officers from the Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau and investigators from the Kenya Power & Lighting Company, a targeted raid was executed at an opulent residence in Mutonguni, Machakos County. During the operation, law enforcement seized five bags containing vandalized aluminum wires.

Subsequently, Josphat Mutuku, also known as “mrefu,” the alleged ringleader of this sophisticated group of vandals, was apprehended. Mutuku’s residence was suspected to be the hub of this criminal network, which specifically targeted installations along the nation’s power lines. The Kenya Power & Lighting Company’s report indicated an alarming count of more than 220 instances of vandalism nationwide from January to June of the current year. Counties such as Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, and Nakuru were responsible for a majority of these reported cases. The consequences included frequent power outages, especially in the most affected regions, resulting in multimillion-shilling losses.

In the preceding year, investigators collaborated with KPLC to uncover a complex system involving third-party agents in collusion with corrupt former employees of the power distribution company. Their goal was to deliberately disrupt the power supply, creating opportunities for profit by reconnecting power at a fee. This scheme involved damaging essential components of transformers, after which the rogue agents, posing as Kenya Power officials, would approach affected residents and offer to restore their electricity supply for a charge.

To exacerbate matters, the criminals would thwart KPLC’s efforts to restore power by removing fuses from transformers immediately after the emergency teams had departed. This strategy was designed to further inconvenience consumers, coercing them into complying with the criminals’ demands.

In response, the government enforced a ban on scrap metal transactions, as investigations indicated that the rampant vandalism was facilitated by the scrap metal trade. This illegal activity targeted vital national infrastructure materials, including those essential for electricity distribution, road construction, and railway development. This behavior bordered on economic sabotage, prompting the government to intervene decisively.

A dedicated task force comprising officers from the Directorate is collaborating closely with investigators affiliated with the electricity distribution company. Their united goal is to eradicate this destructive behavior once and for all.

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