While the rest of the world was busy welcoming the new year as best as it could amidst the coronavirus restrictions on parties, gatherings and night curfew, in the Kenyan capital a group of robbers had more nefarious intentions up their sleeve.
In a daring heist reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, thieves taking advantage of the holiday over the festive period dug a tunnel to the Nairobi Stock Exchange safe, made away with millions of shares and escaped all without being detected.
In exclusive footage obtained by our reporter, the robbers wearing N95 masks to hide their identities could be seen stuffing sacks with shares before making a clean getaway in a Subaru. One of the robbers left a note apparently taunting the authorities. “We would like to be referred to as shareholders now” the note read.
While details are still scanty at this stage, there seems to be an apparent cover up attempt by the authorities given that it took four days for news of the robbery to leak to the media. When trading resumed on Monday morning, traders seemed to be unaware of what had transpired over New Years’ Eve. However, on being informed by our reporter pandemonium ensued with buyers demanding to see the shares before buying them.
“These people are selling us air,” one of them could be heard bitterly complaining.
The police were left to slowly piece together the details of the crime but inside sources indicate they have very little to go on. Speaking to the media, Nairobi area head of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit Jackson Kibor had bad news for investors. “Don’t be surprised if you receive much smaller dividends this year,” he said. “The dividends you used to enjoy now belong to the new shareholders.”
While assuring Kenyans that every attempt is being made to recover the shares and that no stone will be left unturned, Kibor also asked Kenyans for their cooperation “If you see any shares being sold online on Jumia or Jiji please inform the authorities,” he pleaded.
“The robbers should not celebrate since they will now be required to pay higher taxes in line with the 2021 tax bill signed by the president,” said the Kenya Revenue Authority head of domestic taxes when contacted for comment.