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Police nab 17 members of deadly gang in Mombasa

18 April 2016, 07:25

Nairobi - Police said Sunday they are holding 17 armed youth who belong to two deadly gangs in the coastal city of Mombasa that have been terrorising the residents.

Mombasa County Deputy Commissioner, Salim Mahmud said the suspected criminals who were arrested early Sunday were found in possession of machetes and hard drugs.

"They will be arraigned in court on Monday to be charged with possession of drugs and attempt to commit felony," Mohamud said in Mombasa.

The government administrator said the youth are between the age of 12-26 belonging to "Wakali Kwanza" (The Tough First) and "Wakali Wao" (The toughest of them all) gangs.

See Also: Watch: Police raid fake printing press in Nairobi, retrieve dozens of certificates

The authorities have linked the two deadly gang groups to a local lawmaker whom they said is being investigated for allegedly funding the group.

The militias are suspected to be behind mugging and violent robberies in residential estates after their leader was killed last year after being attacked by a rival gang.

The arrest came after police chief warned of a scheme by individuals to revive organized criminal gangs ahead of the 2017 polls to unleash fear and terror activities during the electioneering period.

Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said in February that security forces have information that outlawed sects were being resurrected.

The nation has around 50 organized criminal groups; a pointer to the increasing magnitude of the problem in Kenya, leading to fears that if correct efforts are not put in place, Kenya may become a land controlled by criminal gangs.

The police chief said security officers in collaboration with the government are determined to root out their illicit activities and warned any public officer found complicit with these individuals that they will be dealt lawfully.

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- Xinhua

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