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Top society officials arrested in connection with disappearance of 55 bags of coffee

Three top officials of Mburi Coffee Cooperative society in Kirinyaga East sub-county will spend this Christmas holidays in police custody after Kianyaga Chief Magistrate Edward Baraza remanded them in custody for allegedly stealing parchment coffee valued at Sh 2.4 million from the society.
Samuel Murithi, the society Chairman, Vice Chairman John Mwaniki and the Treasurer Allan Mbiti were ordered by the magistrate to remain in custody after the lead detective Chief Inspector Walter Asugo opposed their bail application on the grounds that investigations into the alleged theft were incomplete.
In a sworn affidavit he read before the Kianyaga Resident Magistrate Gwere Odhiambo, Asugo told the court that mobile phones confiscated from the three suspects were still being analyzed to establish whom they communicated with before and after the December 19 theft.
The detective also swore that since the three were holding senior positions at the society, they were likely to interfere with the investigations and potential witnesses.
Asugo asked the court to have the suspects remanded in custody for seven days within which time he will have completed the investigations.
But the Magistrate ordered that the three be remanded at the Kianyaga police station until December 27 when a plea will also be taken and their application for release on bond considered.
The three are suspected to have been party to the theft of the coffee beans which had been stored at their society premises ready for transportation to a Miller in the morning of December 19 but were stolen at dawn.
The prosecution led by Nancy Sang did not oppose the detective’s application while tension is still high at the society premises after four of its night guards were brutally attacked during the said theft and are still admitted in hospital.
Sources privy to the investigations have hinted that more arrests in connection with the theft were likely to take place before the end of the Christmas celebrations while the 55 bags of coffee stolen have not been recovered so far.
Police are also tracking down two vehicle said to have transported the stolen produce from the scene of the theft.
This is the peak of coffee picking in the county and a number of other similar thefts have since occurred in the recent past
By Irungu Mwangi

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