Kenya: Police to Review CCTV Footage in Probe On Tycoon’s Kidnap Claim

The Thika millionaire who resurfaced after going missing for 75 days to report he had been kidnapped now finds himself at the centre of a police investigation to verify his account.

Yesterday, a day after Mr Julius Gitau recorded a statement at Gatanga Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices, in which he alleged he was seized by six gunmen in Thika in September, police said they will review CCTV footage of surveillance cameras at the spot.

The detectives will review the footage capturing events of September 21 at around 10am outside the Kenya Revenue Authority offices where Mr Gitau said he was seized by the gunmen. They question how an operation by armed thugs such as that outside KRA offices and thereafter at Blue Post Hotel would happen without anyone noticing.

Police in Gatanga Sub-county yesterday confirmed they had contacted authorities to access the surveillance footage as a follow-up to the statement by the entrepreneur who resurfaced 75 days after he was alleged to have committed suicide.

“We will liaise with our Kiambu County security team to seek authorities to review security cameras (CCTV) in the neighbourhood of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) offices where Mr Gitau claimed to have been abducted in broad daylight and on a busy street,” said area police boss Peter Muchemi. Mr Gitau claimed to have been held hostage by people who did not make any ransom demands but only made him work as a houseboy, forcing him to do chores like washing clothes. He said they released him on Saturday and he later learnt he had been near Kamwangi town in Gatundu North.

Suicide note

A suicide note purportedly revealing the trader’s financial frustrations arising from poor performance of his businesses owing to Covid-19 pandemic had alluded to him jumping into an unspecified river.

Mr Gitau said in his statement that he encountered the abductors while he was driving his lorry whose cabin has seats for three. He said two thugs commandeered the vehicle to Blue Post Hotel where he was ordered to park and was transferred to the small car.

Mr Muchemi said the KRA and adjacent cameras will offer the key to unlocking the puzzle. He added that the next stop will be at the Blue Post Hotel where “also in broad daylight and outside a very sensitive business enterprise with busy activities no one witnessed the high-profile crime being progressed.”

Mr Muchemi said his officers want to unravel the truth “since it is of great interest to us and the public. The claims are very grave.” The police boss said the next line of interrogation will be the authenticity of where Mr Gitau claims he was kept in captivity working as a houseboy.

“He says he was released at 4pm and walked for about two hours into a forest near Kamwangi town in Gatundu North. It is here he got a phone from a motorcycle rider and called his wife… It is not rocket science to programme the call signal and know the exact location it was made and also by application of geo-mapping, trace the most likely places the building he claims to have been his abode for 11 weeks is situated,” he said.

He said Mr Gitau remains a free man because, all along, his disappearance he had not been classified as a criminal. Area DCI boss John Kanda said “the fact that he has come out with a claim of having had disappeared in a criminal plot and was subjected to servitude makes his case escalate to full swing investigation.”


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