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HomeNews5 Number Plate Scams Used by Criminal Gangs

5 Number Plate Scams Used by Criminal Gangs

5 Number Plate Scams Used by Criminal Gangs

Gangs raiding homes and committing high-level robberies have devised new methods to avoid police dragnets, including the use of license plates.

The country recorded over three cases in January 2023 alone where suspects used fake or number plate stickers to conceal the identities of their vehicles.

Other cases involved switching license plates, using fake license plates, foreign plates, and unlicensed plates, and some people using number plate stickers to commit crimes.

On January 9, police officers stopped two trucks in Loitoktok, Kajiado County, that were transporting 72,000 liters of illegal ethanol from Tanzania.

The officers seized the trucks with forged license plates near the Tarakea border crossing. To avoid the police dragnet, the lorries displayed both Kenyan and Tanzanian license plates.

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“The registration numbers of the trucks were hidden behind foreign number plates,” police said.

On Saturday, January 14, cops in Kericho also busted another crime syndicate that was using number plates to commit crimes.

Four suspects were apprehended in Kericho town, and their vehicle, which had a fake license plate, was impounded in connection with attempted robberies at two business premises.

In another case, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) apprehended three suspects in Githurai 44 for robbing residents.

DCI officers recovered number plate stickers during the raid, which they allegedly used to conceal their car identity during operations.

“A search of their car resulted in the recovery of forged number plate stickers,” DCI said.

The increase in crime rates associated with suspects using license plates peaked around 2020. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will impound vehicles with unlicensed plates in December 2020.

“Following a crackdown on the use of unlicensed identification plates, several motor vehicles were impounded and their owners arrested in Kwale County. We urge motorists to stop using illegal license plates, failing which they will be prosecuted “In part, an NTSA statement was read.

In December 2021, police also impounded a man in Kirinyaga for driving a car without a license plate for four years.

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The suspect admitted to police that he purchased the vehicle number plate in 2018 from a motor vehicle scrapyard in Athi River after failing to register the vehicle, which originally had number plates from another country.
To combat the rise in crime rates associated with license plates, the government introduced digital license plates. The New Generation plates include microchip technology and several anti-counterfeit security features, making them nearly impossible to imitate.

Aside from the one-of-a-kind template, the new plates feature a specially imprinted national flag, a hologram, and a watermark.

They also have distinct serial numbers for the rear and front plates, which are linked to the vehicle’s chassis number.