Ethics and Anti Corruption (EACC) officers have arrested four police officers on allegations of extorting money from motorists along the Thika-Garissa highway in Machakos.
The detained police officers included a deputy base commander, a sergeant, and two police constables, who were accused of soliciting bribes from motorists, contrary to the law.
Motorists plying the route had initially raised complaints over the constant extortion by the police manning the roadblocks, prompting the EACC officers to launch investigations into the matter as part of their ongoing operation to combat corruption in the traffic sector.
“As part of ongoing initiatives to tame traffic corruption, EACC arrested 4 police officers extorting money from motorists on Thika-Garissa,” the anti-corruption agency noted.
Police and onlookers inspecting the vehicle of Mt Elgon Member of Parliament Fred Kapondi on August 10, 2023.
According to EACC, detectives monitored the suspects for some days before swooping into action.
Upon arrest, the anti-corruption agency team recovered about Ksh 12,000, allegedly collected within an hour.
In a video shared by EACC on their X social media account, the four police officers were recorded demanding cash from motorists along the highway.
Following their arrest, the four officers were detained at Kilimani Police Station, Nairobi, before they were arraigned in court to answer charges levelled against them.
Among the charges they faced was publicly defying direct orders issued by Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, who directed police officers to remove all roadblocks by November 1 this year.
EACC also arrested a Kisumu Central Police Inspector who had demanded a Ksh500,000 bribe to withdraw charges against a transporter arrested in Vihiga county.
The police officer had also sought incentives to release the trader’s impounded goods.
According to the EACC report, the police inspector attempted to resist the arrest, causing a commotion at the scene. However, he was suppressed, handcuffed and dragged to record a statement.
The arrest comes barely a week after EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Maraka expressed concern about the surge in corruption among police officers.
Mbarak called upon Police Commanders across the country to take urgent and decisive measures to end the extortion of motorists by law enforcers.
“Motorists are expected to comply with all traffic laws and regulations and report any cases of bribe demands to EACC through Tol Free Line 1551. The operation continues,” EACC noted.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak speaking during the recovery of the Ksh1.2 billion Chale Island in Kwale County on October 9, 2023.