Mobile phone used to find Uhuru stolen BMW
THE stolen police BMW was recovered in Uganda yesterday after detectives tracked a mobile phone to trace the man who drove it from Nairobi.
Nelson Topicho carried around the mobile phone stolen from the car’s driver, Chief Inspector David Machui, during the carjacking incident on Wednesday last week.
Detectives from the Flying Squad cracked the case after they traced the mobile to Topicho in a Bungoma hotel.
Topicho led the police to two clearing agents in Busia, Andrew Otieno and Godfrey Ouma, who processed the papers for the car to cross into Uganda. The two agents in turn led them to Wandegeya Market in Kampala, where the car was recovered at 11pm on Tuesday.
The three men were presented before a Bungoma court yesterday, where police sought seven days to question them and complete their investigation.
Bungoma CID boss Peter Mabeya said the three will be arraigned in court on September 11.
Yesterday, the Star exclusively spoke to Topicho at the Bungoma police station, where he denied that he was among the criminals armed with AK-47 rifles who attacked Machui in Utawala, Nairobi.
Topicho said he was an innocent man and works as a freelance driver whose job is to drive vehicles to different destinations, either from Mombasa or Nairobi to Uganda.
He said that a client called him to Mlolongo on Wednesday last week and handed over the vehicle, which he was required to drive to Busia.
He said he collected the car at 6am and drove to Western with three men on board. He said throughout the 600-kilometre journey, he was not stopped at any police roadblock.
“I did not know that the car I was driving was stolen and I had no reason to fear. It was only later that I heard a BMW belonging to State House had been stolen,” he said.
Topicho did not name the people he travelled with, or confirm whether he made a stopover at the Nakuru garage where the car is said to have been tampered with.
Aggrey Odhiambo, the Nakuru mechanic accused of handling the stolen BMW, was yesterday brought to Nairobi for further questioning.
His lawyer, Cliff Ombeta, urged the police to drop the charges against Odhiambo and instead make him a prosecution witness.
He said his client was the best witness because he had spent three hours with the criminals who had the car and his testimony would strengthen the prosecution’s case.
According to Ombeta, the mechanic removed the car’s alarm at the request of the three men who pretended to be the real owners. They allegedly told him the car alarm was giving them a headache. They also asked him to remove some other security sensors.
After he finished the job, Odhiambo was invited to lunch with the group. The thugs are then said to have visited a barbershop for haircuts before they drove to Western Kenya.
Ombeta said he had held a meeting with senior police officers in Nairobi to secure Odhiambo’s freedom, but the top cops have yet to grant him the request.
By last evening, detectives from the Bungoma Flying Squad who travelled to Kampala to collect the car had yet to return to Kenya. Sources said they were still seeking clearance from the Ugandan authorities.
It has taken the police five days to recover the car.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu has said the BMW is owned by the Police Service and is used by police officers attached to State House, but was not part of the Presidential Escort fleet.