National Police Service spokesperson, Bruno Shioso, has explained what led to the arrest of a Venezuelan national found with IEBC stickers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday, July 21.
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In a statement released to the media on Friday, Shioso said that officers had reasons to detain the foreigner due to the nature and sensitivity of the matter.
“The arrest, impounding and subsequent investigations into the material was necessitated by the sensitivity of elections material, and further, by the following facts requiring due diligence,” read part of the statement.
The police spokesperson noted that the stickers were not declared as per the law.
He added that the material was not accompanied by an IEBC official as per the routine procedure.
Shioso also pointed out that officers flagged the carrying of such sensitive materials in the personal luggage of a foreigner.
He further noted that the police were not notified of such an import beforehand to provide necessary security and escort.
Subsequent investigations have revealed that the stickers are bona fide property of the IEBC and part of the election-related material.
The suspect has since been released from lawful custody and the stickers released to IEBC.
According to the IEBC, the foreigner was among three individuals flown into the country to execute a lawful contract relating to the deployment of technology in elections.
"The Commission has a valid legal contract executed between itself and Smartmatic International B.V. for the supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, support and maintenance of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System," stated IEBC.
Smartmatic is an American based company that describes itself as "the global leader in applied cybersecurity technologies for elections and government systems," reads a statement on their website.
The three are said to have been arrested after stickers belonging to IEBC were detected through the airport's screening machines. Upon searching an individual's bag, police discovered he had 17 rolls of election stickers for various constituencies.
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