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Wakulima market fraud suspect claims police locked him up for a week demanding bribes

A suspected fraudster said to have defrauded four traders of groceries worth more than Sh40,000 at Wakulima market denied fraud charges at Makadara law courts, instead accusing police of locking him up for a week.

Alex Oyula Baraza told chief magistrate Heston Nyaga that he was locked up in a room at Kamukunji police station without being booked in the Occurrence Book, by officers who allegedly demanded cash to release him.

Baraza claimed he was arrested on Monday evening but the charge sheet indicates that he had committed the offences on Friday March 12.

“They said the money I had was little and demanded that I call my relatives to send additional Sh20,000,” he said.

“They never booked me in the OB before taking me into one of the rooms where I remained handcuffed from the back. Each time other suspects were being called out to go to court, my name was nowhere because I had not been booked in,” he added.

A suspect locked up at the station on Thursday afternoon confirmed to the court that he found Baraza in custody when he was booked in at around 7pm.

The officer investigating the matter Boniface Mwao distanced himself from the issue and claimed the suspect was arrested by four police officers and taken to the station on Friday.

In one of the counts, Baraza is charged with obtaining 110kg of sweet potatoes worth Sh5,500 from Judith Ouma at Wakulima market on March 12 falsely pretending he was in a position to pay.

He is also charged with obtaining 10 buckets of potatoes worth Sh7,000, from Ann Wangechi on the same day pretending he could pay for them, with an intention to defraud.

He is facing additional two counts in which he is accused of obtaining tomatoes worth Sh19,000 and watermelons worth Sh6,400, all valued at Sh25,400, from Maxwell Kyalo by falsely pretending he was in a position to honour payment.

The suspect is further accused of having obtained two sacks of oranges worth Sh6,000 from businessman Peter Daudi.

However, he denied all the charges.

Nyaga warned the claims made by Baraza are serious and told his lawyer to pursue the matter with relevant agencies ahead of the mention of the case on March 29 for police to respond.

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