BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,16TH JUNE,2021-Police are holding a Chinese man after he was found with five assorted guns and 205 bullets in Nairobi’s Lavington area.
Dang Pengfei was first arrested at a roadblock on Mwingi-Nairobi highway where he was first found with a pistol.
When pressed further, he led the officers to a house in Lavington, Nairobi where four more guns were seized with 205 bullets.
Police said even though the man is licensed to carry a weapon, it is not clear how he imported all the weapons recovered including a rifle, which is prohibited. He is under interrogation to establish his motive.
Police said they seized an M4 rifle with five bullets, a Ceska pistol with 10 bullets, a Taurus revolver with three bullets and a Taurus pistol with three bullets. The multiagency team said they also recovered two boxes of ammunition containing 100 bullets.
The discovery raises questions about the licensing of the weapons and monitoring their purchase or importation.
Nairobi police boss Augustine Nthumbi said they are interrogating the man to establish his motive. This is because most foreigners are not licensed to carry weapons locally. Those licensed go through a rigorous process.
Last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i praised the firearms licensing board for their efforts to manage private gun ownership in the country.
He said the board is now in control of the ownership of the weapons and can account for all of those in private hands. “The board is doing a good job in managing this issue of gun ownership that had initially gone bad,” he said. Licensed Firearms Holders are usually vetted before they get permits to own the weapons.
The law requires that there be annual renewal of the licenses held by the civilian firearms holders.
The board issues vetted gun owners with new smart licences and is concurrently working towards establishing a centralized electronic register of all private citizens holding firearms in the country.
The board has so far created a register for all holders and is dealing with the police reservists.
Matiang’i had in December 2018 announced the vetting of the civilian firearms holders following increased cases of fake certificates that were in circulation.
Some of the holders were misusing the weapons.
The vetting process involves psychiatric assessment by a Government psychologist, criminal record checks, and ballistic testing of the weapons and ammunition by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).