The police have had increasing success in dealing with violent armed robberies which took place during 2009.
Eight people have appeared in court on 14 charges following the July 31 robbery with violence at NMB Bank’s Temeke branch.
They were charged with murdering a security guard and a police officer and stealing over Shs 61 million. Some of the accused also appeared in court charged with stealing a vehicle on June 21 at Magomeni, a car valued at Shs 6 million on March 31 at Mwananyamala, and the robbery of a motorcycle and vehicle, both valued at Shs 25 million, at Changombe. With the exception of the murder charge, the accused pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Three of the accused asked the court to allow them to seek treatment for injuries allegedly caused by torture while in police custody. The request was rejected and they were told that their offences were not bailable and that they would receive treatment in remand.
This is the third time in three years that police have detained suspects they have subsequently appeared in court charged with murder and armed robbery after raids targeting the NMB Bank. On April 20, 2006, armed gangsters waylaid bank vehicles at the Ubungo traffic lights in Dar es Salaam and made off with tens of millions of shillings after killing two people and injuring several others. Sixteen people are facing murder and armed robbery charges at the High Court.
On July 11, 2007, robbers struck at the Bank’s Mwanga branch in Kilimanjaro Region, and killed one person before fleeing with Shs 234 million. Eleven people, including several Kenyans, have been charged in connection with the robbery – The Citizen.