Key suspect in North rift banditry arrested, riffles and ammunition recovered

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives have arrested a suspected notorious bandit Lonyangapat Piranyang Komole after a four-year manhunt.

DCI in a statement on Thursday, November 16, said the suspect was cornered at his hideout in Adoket village in Tiaty and recovered two AK 47 riffles with ten and five rounds of ammunition.

“Acting on actionable intelligence, the sleuths stealthily traced Lonyangapat Piranyang Komole to his hideout within Adoket village where he was apprehended. A detailed search was conducted inside the suspected bandit’s house where the detectives managed to recover two AK47 rifles with 10 and 5 rounds of ammunition respectively,” DCI stated.

According to Baringo Police Commander Julius Kiragu, the key suspect has been on the police raid search for four years and has masterminded major banditry attacks in the North Rift region.

“He has been involved, in theft across the North Rift, particularly in Samburu, Kapedo Turkana, and Elgeyo Marakwet. He is a leader in that group on the Sirare side. He has been on the radar for the last four years. If you have observed his body, it has been marked to indicate his involvement in several raids and murders within the North Rift,” he stated.

Kiragu also noted that the suspect has given them information they will use to end banditry in the region.

The suspect is currently being held at a police facility awaiting the necessary legal procedures before appearing in court.

The arrest comes days after the Interior Cabinet Secretary ordered a crackdown on all politicians, religious leaders, key planners, and commanders of the bandit attacks in North Rift.

Speaking in Loruk, Baringo County, the CS said even leaders will not be spared, regardless of which side of the political divide they come from.

He said insisted that community and religious leaders who are suspected of financing and inciting criminal activities, will also be brought to book.

“Anyone, whether a political leader, community leader, or religious leader suspected to be inciting, financing or masterminding criminal activities in the region to be summoned for questioning, record statements and those found culpable to be arrested and prosecuted Regardless of one’s political affiliation or persuasion,” Kindiki said.

Kenyans however are still not convinced that the arrested suspect is the one that has been on radar for all those months expressing that there might be the real culprit who is walking freely.
Many expressed that with the look that the suspect, Lonyangapat Piranyang Komole is presenting is not convincing for a mastermind.
“Banditry is intertwined with historical marginalization, cultural practices, political interests, the proliferation of weapons through porous borders, and poverty and economic inequality in the affected areas. And until the government addresses the menace from the root cause by rounding up the financiers and beneficiaries of the menace, anything else is futile. The head of the snake must be cut off,” @TonyAlexIrungu expressed on X.

@BobbyVj on X could also not believe that that was the main suspect in this case, “Bwana this country is something unheard off, this is a joke. Diversion tactics from this government. How can he be the main suspect? Can Police prove this at the court? You mean this guy owns even the blue helicopter in North Rift? What else is remaining in this country @IG_NPS?.”


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