Calm returns in Likoni as crackdown on criminal gangs intensifies

Calm returns in Likoni as crackdown on criminal gangs intensifies

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Mombasa, KENYA: Security has been restored in areas of  Likoni where the criminal gangs had previously taken over in the past few months.

Several people have been attacked and some even killed by armed criminals.

A special team of police officers numbering 10 drawn from Kenya police, Administration police, CID, GSU and other departments are said to be hunting down the gangs.

The mutual relationship between police bosses and the community in the area has also played a significant role in heightening security.

A source who spoke to Baraka FM on condition of anonymity said the team is always on standby to answer a distress call.

“They are armed and most are not known in the sub-county, theirs is to wait for a call, they don’t tolerate nonsense as they were directed by their bosses,” said the source.

Armed criminal gangs of watalia ,wajuku wa Bibi, wakalikwanza,bokoharam had invaded residents slashing three people leaving them with serious wounds.

This did not go well with security bosses prompting them to go in person to areas where the suspects were hiding.

The team was led by county police commander Johnston Ipara, county commissioner Evans Achoki, OCPD Benjamin Rotich DCC Evans Mulevu and DCI Henry Ndombi.

They had one mesaage:

“The three-month ultimatum is over and will not be extended let them come with their machete and police use their firearms.”

Likoni council of elders had tried to prevent the police from conducting a cracking down of the suspects, saying amnesty should be extended.

The elders had protested that 200 suspected criminal gangs have been forwarded to police as most wanted.

Police bosses rejected their move and told them that the ultimatum period would not be extended.

“Do your part and let us also we play our role,” a source present in the meeting said.

A spot check by Baraka FM in areas of Vijiweni,Jamvi LA wageni, Majengo mapya and Mtongwe shows calmness in the area as residents thank the security personnel.

At the moment, several businesses stay open for longer hours while residents go home late hours as they enjoy relative peace in the area unlike in the past few days.

Parents whose children have been linked to criminal gangs and put on notice live in fear as they don’t know whereabouts of their sons.

Amina* not her real name told Baraka FM that she has not seen her 17-year-old boy for the past one week since the crackdown started.

“I don’t know if he was kidnapped by the officers or he had escaped to other counties, but I fear to go and report the matter to police since they have warned us,” said Amina.

Another Mwanatumu,40, and mother of three said her son was on the list of wanted criminals and she had warned him several times but he did not hear.

“Some are telling me my son escaped to Kisauni but am not sure, I haven’t seen him for the last two days,” she said.

When asked if he had reported the matter to authorities she said that she was afraid that she would also be arrested.

Likoni police boss Benjamin Rotich confirmed to Baraka FM that at least 200 suspects have been arrested in the last one week.

He said four parents have also been arrested and taken to court for neglecting their children.

“Now we have enough officers in plain clothes, we have deployed officers in certain areas whose aim is to pursue the gangs, we have planned adequately, we want Likoni residents to live in peace, whoever is caught with a machete will be dealt with full force, don’t blame us,” said police boss.

He said intelligence reports show that majority have fled to Kisauni and Magongo areas in Changamwe.

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