Mzee Karanja was on verge of losing KSh0.6M; luckily, two sleuths taking lunch and unroadworthy car happened...

for Tv47 Digital April 21, 2022, 07:36 PM
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A file photo of an Equity Bank branch and bodaboda operators, used for illustration.

Drama unfolded in Karatina town in Nyeri County on Thursday afternoon after two bodaboda riders accosted a 62-year-old man who had withdrawn KSh0.6 million at a local bank and snatched the cash from him.

James Karanja (not real names), a pensioner who had rendered his service to the nation as an Agricultural Extension Officer for over 30 years, is said to have walked to the town’s Equity Bank branch minutes past noon, carrying a cinnamon brown briefcase to make a transaction.

Dressed in a navy blue checked suit, white shirt and a matching polka dot tie, Mzee Karanja whose smoky grey hair was neatly combed backwards, cut a figure of a senior citizen with a life well lived and looking good for his age.

He strode into the banking hall leaving no doubt in the minds of the eagle-eyed ‘nduthi men’ opposite the bank that he had come to town for serious business.

The DCI reports that once inside, Mzee Karanja withdrew KSh600,000, from his account and divided it into two. Three bundles of KSh100,000 each were neatly arranged in his briefcase before he locked it, using a combination of codes.

"He then stuffed the remaining half into his pockets before walking out of the banking hall. The senior citizen then walked straight to a roadside shed where he bought a pack containing ten packets of Supermatch brand cigarettes, opened his briefcase and arranged the package neatly besides the wads of notes before locking it, once again. Such an organized man he is!' Reports the DCI.

Unbeknownst to Mzee Karanja, two bodaboda riders who were observing his moves attacked him and pinned him to the ground. They duo reportedly snatched the briefcase from him and jumped on their motorbike, which immediately sped off towards Sagana.

Mzee Karanja's luck

Luckily, two detectives based at DCI Karatina had just stepped out of a restaurant where they had taken lunch, on time to catch a glimpse of the old man landing on the ground and the thugs making their daring escape.

Determined to stop them, the officers gave a chase while shouting at the thugs to stop.

As fate would have it, an old jalopy suddenly joined the highway without warning and the rider hit it from behind. His attempts to regain control of the motorbike failed, as it wobbled from one side of the road to the other before landing on the tarmac.

The thugs hurriedly left the bike on the road and escaped on foot, as they hurled the briefcase at the officers who were breathing down their backs.

"Our men collected the briefcase, walked back and handed it over to the old man who had been helped on his feet by well wishers. He was escorted to Karatina police station where upon ascertaining that he did not suffer any injury, he carefully selected the combination to unlock his briefcase and confirmed that his money was intact," adds the DCI.

'Athuri aya ni marugirwo cai'

Asked why he had carried such an amount of money in cash, Mzee Karanja said that he was on his way to a hardware shop to purchase some construction materials.

Mzee Karanja was escorted by detectives to his home a happy man, but with a lesson learnt. When asked by his wife why he hadn’t returned with construction materials but with an escort of not so good looking visitors, he retorted “Athuri aya ni marugirwo cai (cook tea for these men).”

Meanwhile, the owner of the motorbike later presented himself at the police station and alleged that he had hired the bike to a rider on what is commonly known as ‘squad’ basis.

He is currently assisting the police with investigations.

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