A Hindu priest has been charged with abduction and robbery with violence in a Nyeri court.
Mr Sandip Bhatti of the Sikh Temple in Nyeri town is accused of kidnapping Mr Jaswaran Singh, a resident of the Asian Quarters estate, before robbing him of Sh135,000.
According to the charge sheet, Mr Bhatti committed the offence on November 20, 2020 along the Nyeri-Karatina road, together with others not in court.
During the hearing, Mr Singh told Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo that he was travelling back home from the temple when he was approached by a friend, a Mr Gurprwet, who asked for a ride.
After driving for about 100 meters out of town, Mr Gurprwet threatened Mr Singh with a dagger and ordered him to stop the car in a secluded area.
It was then Mr Bhatti, together with two other men, appeared and ordered the driver to move to the back seat of the vehicle.
Transferred to another car
The complainant told Ms Kagendo that the kidnappers then drove him to Gatitu town before transferring him to a waiting vehicle.
“I, however, could not see the number plate of the vehicle or the driver of the car as it all happened quickly,” he told the court.
Mr Bhatti, whom he said appeared to be in charge of the operation, ordered him to surrender all the money he had with him.
Since he did not have any, he pleaded with them to allow him to withdraw money from an ATM.
He told the court that they drove to Nairobi after he assured his kidnappers that his bank account had Sh30,000 which he would give in exchange for his freedom.
“We travelled all the way to Standard Bank in Westlands where I withdrew Sh30,000 after writing a cheque for Sh95,000 for Mr Bhatti,” he said.
Driven back to Nyeri
He told the court that one of the kidnappers was dissatisfied with the amount, forcing him to add an additional Sh10,000 from his pocket, so that he could be set free.
“They then called a taxi driver who they ordered to drive me back to Gatitu area in Nyeri town where they had abandoned my car,” said Mr Singh.
On arrival, he found his car in the same state he had left it.
Mr Singh said he feared for his life to the extent that he could not report his kidnappers to police that same day.
The hearing of the case resumes on March 5.