Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched a manhunt for suspects who vandalised a railway line in Nakuru.
According to a statement from the DCI, the suspects were found vandalising the Rongai-Solai railway line on Sunday night but managed to escape after sighting officers from Rongai Police station.
Police said the suspects had loaded over 60 rails into a waiting lorry when they were ambushed by the officers.
The materials had been vandalised from the line that runs from Rongai to Kampi ya Moto and Solai.
The vandals took off leaving the lorry bearing registration number KCH 646T loaded with the materials.
“The suspects had loaded 65 rails and 120 slippers into a waiting lorry in Burgei village, when police officers from Rongai police station accosted them a few minutes to midnight last night.
“But on sighting the officers, the loaders and the lorry driver immediately took off leaving the lorry registration number KCH 646T loaded with the vandalized materials,” DCI said.
DCI cautioned members of the public that vandalism of critical national infrastructure is a serious offence under the current laws.
“Vandalism of critical national infrastructure is a serious offence and the suspects once arrested could face Economic Sabotage and Terrorism related charges,” DCI warned.
In January this year, the government suspended scrap material dealings following a spike in cases of vandalism in the country.
“We will not allow you to destroy that which is for the growth and development of our country to benefit a few individuals’ pockets. That we will not allow. That is economic sabotage, and the law is very clear on how such people should be dealt with,” retired President Uhuru Kenyatta said during a police pass-out parade at the National Police College in Nyeri.
SGR railway line vandalised
In November last year, two suspects were arrested after allegedly vandalising railway gauge blocks in Mtito Andei derailing the Standard Gauge Railway train for two hours.
Michael Mbevi was arrested at his scrap metal store in Kinyambu, Mtito-Andei, as he loaded the gauge blocks into a lorry destined for the lucrative scrap metal market.
Also arrested at the store in the raid was a lorry driver identified as Nicodemus Kyove who attempted to escape arrest.
“The offence committed by the suspects who will face Economic Sabotage and Terrorism related charges is very serious and should serve as a warning to any other person/s harbouring the idea of vandalizing railway property,” DCI said then.