In a turn of events in Malawi’s K500 million Standard Bank robbery, a police officer has been arrested and is currently in custody following suspicions that he might have been one of the masterminds of the bank attack.
The bank robbery took place two weeks ago at Standard Bank’s Mzuzu Branch after some men in black suits stormed the house of the bank’s branch manager and forced him to take them to the bank where they again forced him to let them in and get away with the loot.
Police estimate that almost K412 million (US$1 million) was stolen.
Malawi Police Service has since confirmed that one of their officers Ken Kamwambi, 38, based at Police Mobile Services (PMS) B Company Division in Limbe, was arrested in connection with the robbery.
“The officer was arrested on Thursday September 4 when he was cornered by general-duty officers on patrol at Chitipi in Lilongwe,” said National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo.
“It is true that investigations into the Mzuzu bank robbery have led to the arrest of one of the police officers. He was arrested on September 4 at Chitipi along the Lilongwe- Mchinji Road and is still on remand at Mzuzu Police Station,” said Manjolo.
She said on the day of his arrest, police officers stopped Kamwambi’s vehicle at Namitete Roadblock in Lilongwe and he told them that he was a police officer.
“However, when he was asked to produce his identity card, he sped off. This created suspicion among the officers who reported the matter and more roadblocks were mounted. He was then caught, he was with a friend in his vehicle but the other person escaped,” said Manjolo.
She added: “A police search of the vehicle recovered one live ammunition, hammers, pangas and a bunch of vehicle keys.”
Sources within the Police Service disclosed that Kamwambi was reportedly spotted in Mzuzu drinking with his former squad-mates on the day of the robbery and came under police watch when a T-shirt identical to the one he was wearing on his drinking spree was found in a car used by the robbers.
The Standard Bank robbery also led to the arrest of some Mzuzu Standard Bank employees, including deputy branch manager Willy Kaluwa, asset and ATM custodian Charles Moffat, customer information consultants Robert Mwafulirwa and Mbachi Nyirongo.
Amos Jere from the private security firm guarding the premises was also arrested.
Moffat and Jere are still on remand while the rest were released on bail.
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