Man arrested for destroying Standard Gauge Railway blocks in Kenya

A scrap metal dealer responsible for the vandalism of railway gauge blocks, occasioning the delay of SGR services on Monday, November 22, has been arrested.

Michael Mbevi, was arrested on Saturday morning, November 27, 2021, at his scrap metal store in Kinyambu, Eastern Kenya, as he loaded the gauge blocks into a lorry destined for the lucrative scrap metal market.

Also arrested at the store in the 11am raid, was Lorry’s driver Nicodemus Kyove, as he desperately attempted to escape.

The arrest of the two suspects followed a tip-off from a patriotic member of the public, who informed Railway Police officers and DCI detectives engaged in an operation to recover the vandalized blocks and arrest of the suspects.

The disappearance of the critical blocks led to the stoppage of operations along the busy railway line for two hours, as railway engineers and security officers inspected the extent of the damage caused to the critical national transport infrastructure.

The greed by scrap metal dealers to make quick profits through the sale of the gauge blocks which ensure that the width of the railway line is maintained could have led to devastating consequences including the derailment of a train.

“The offence committed by the suspects who will face Economic Sabotage and Terrorism related charges is very serious and should serve as a warning to any other person/s harbouring the idea of vandalizing railway property,” said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

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