Thousands of stolen phones impounded at Eldoret house as police bust syndicate

Stolen phones recovered

Police officers inspect some of the mobile phones confiscated during a crackdown in Kamukunji estate in Eldoret town on May 9.

Photo credit: Titus Ominde | Nation Media Group

A multi-agency security team on Tuesday evening impounded thousands of stolen mobile phones in a house in Kamukunji estate in Eldoret town.

The team led by Uasin Gishu County Police Commander Benjamin Mwanthi seized the stolen phones hoarded in a sack, in a shop belonging to a prominent trader in the region.

Two suspects — a woman and a man — were arrested in connection to the consignment, which included other electronic goods.

The crackdown caught Kamukunji residents by surprise, pulling a crowd that watched in disbelief.

Residents said that the shop is owned by a highly connected trader and the business enjoys the protection of police officers.

“This shop is known to conduct illicit business, which is known by police who come here regularly to collect bribes and continue protecting cartels involved in the business,” a disappointed resident who spoke on condition of anonymity told Nation.Africa.

Arrest of the suspects

Mr Mwanthi hailed the public for sharing with police information that led to the arrest of the suspects.

“I urge members of the public to visit Central Police Station, Eldoret, to identify any of their mobile phones that could have been stolen,” said Mr Mwanthi.

The multi-agency team also seized thousands of contraband goods and counterfeit liquor believed to have originated from a neighbouring country. 

The county commander has warned traders in Uasin Gishu against engaging in illicit business.

Police have termed the estate a hotspot for drug peddlers and illicit brews, among other criminal activities.

Two months ago, police impounded more than 5,000 litres of illicit brew from the same estate.