Five Kenyan police officers released after arrest in Tanzania

Five police officers pursuing car thieves were arrested and briefly detained in the Rombo area of ​​Tanzania.

They were detained by Tanzanian police who responded to a distress call from a suspect who had been arrested in the town of Tarakea on suspicion of being part of a cartel that targeted and stole vehicles in Kenya.

The incident occurred on Friday afternoon, May 24, authorities said.

A team of five police officers from Buruburu Police Station chased and arrested a Kenyan in cases of theft of motor vehicles sold in Tanzania.

The suspect then took them to the location where the cartel used to ship stolen cars to Tanzania.

Using the unofficial route, the team said they mistakenly entered Tanzanian territory without their knowledge.

They were in the company of a Kenyan motor vehicle theft suspect.

While in Tanzania, they arrested a Tanzanian in Tarakea town who raised the alarm.

Officers from Tarakea Police Station who were on patrol responded armed and arrested the officers for the offense of being unlawfully present in Tanzania.

They attempted to explain to Tanzanian police that the suspect was wanted over allegations that he had received stolen motor vehicles from Kenya in vain.

They were escorted to custody in the Rombo Mkuu area, officials said.

It was then that the agents made a call to Kenya and the Kajiado Sur team, in the company of their colleagues from Illasit, began to negotiate the release of the agents.

The sub-county security intelligence met and requested a meeting with the Tanzanian team.

The police chief said Deputy County Commissioner Anthony Macharia led the team to Tanzania and had a meeting with the Rombo district security committee which led to the release of the five officers.

The Kenyan suspect was also handed over to the security team, although the Tanzanian suspect was not handed over to Kenya.

Police called the move a good one, but asked that the wanted suspect be handed over for questioning and prosecution.

The Kenyan suspect is being questioned ahead of his scheduled arraignment.

Police say dozens of vehicles are stolen in Kenya and driven to Tanzania, where they are sold by a cruel cartel.

Some are recovered while others are cannibalized or modified in their characteristics.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.