The Directorate of Criminal investigations (DCI) on the morning of Sunday, July 24, laid bare the circumstances that led to the arrest of three Venezuelans, a move that pitted the agency against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In a strongly-worded statement, the agency released the identities of all the three suspects as Venezuelan nationals identified as Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos, Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia and Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez.
Carmago was first detained at the airport upon touch down on July 21, 2022, after security officers detected questionable luggage in his possession.
The bag contained 17 rolls of stickers targeted to serve various polling stations estimated to be 10,000 in number targeted to serve 10 counties.Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti addressing journalists at DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road on Thursday, March 5, 2020Kenyans.co.ke
They are Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Machakos, Murang'a, Bomet, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Kericho.
In a separate bag, Carmago was also found in possession of a personal laptop, a personal monitor, five flash discs, one mobile phone and assorted personal computer accessories.
"The officers having established that the rolls were allegedly the property of IEBC of the Republic of Kenya arrested the suspect and confiscated the stated rolls and went ahead to inquire from the suspect Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos how he came into possession of the same.
"The suspect confessed that he was given the materials from Panama by his company M/S Smartmatic International Holding B.V," read the statement in part explaining that the material was destined for a private office in Nairobi.
DCI questioned why no IEBC officials were present to receive the materials faulting the Commission's Chairperson Wafula Chebukati over his earlier claims that the Anti-terror Police Unit (ATPU) had arrested its staff.
During the investigations, two other Venezuelan nationals, Garcia and Suarez, arrived at JKIA to pick Carmago which widened the suspect's net.
"The officers were shocked how a foreigner all the way from Venezuela, Panama, Turkey to Nairobi contracted for a very sensitive and high-level service by supposedly IEBC had nobody waiting for him and in particular to receive the sensitive confidential materials which were supposed to be in secure custody after confirmation and reception by the procuring entity," added the statement.
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati had raised concerns over the arrest of the Venezuelans who are Information Technology experts.
The trio, he stated, were tasked with helping the commission to deploy Kiems kits across the country.
"The three personnel, who are employees of Smartmatic International B.V were arrested upon arrival. IEBC has a valid legal contract executed between itself and Smartmatic International B.V. for the supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, support and maintenance of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System," Chebukati argued.
In the statement signed by DCI boss George Kinoti, however, the agency refuted the claims noting that other staffers at IEBC had earlier disowned the three.
DCI terms Chebukati's statement as dishonest and choreographed, challenging him to put his house in order ahead of the polls.
"We find the Chairperson. Mr. Wafula Chebukati to be insincere and dishonest by declaring people who have been disowned by his own staff as IEBC personnel. Chebukati's statement, was well choreographed, planned and strategically crafted to raise an alarm by sensationalizing a false statement to sway the masses who are the public to believe that the police arbitrarily arrested and harassed IEBC personnel.
"It was an attempt aimed at intimidating and blackmailing security agencies and other stakeholders against playing their rightful role," stated Kinoti.The entrance of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in August 2019.Kenyans.co.keharass arrest suspect
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