TikTokers arrested over police station prank

An attempt by a group of youths to express their creativity and go viral on social media has landed them in trouble after they were arrested for allegedly tarnishing the image of the Kenya Police Service.

The four, including a 17-year-old boy, created a video clip about a robbery taking place just outside a police station in Kilifi town.

Unbeknownst to them, police officers would not take the viral video, entitled ‘wezi mbele ya police station’ or ‘robbery outside a police station’, posted on TikTok lightly.

Police have also impounded the motorcycle used in the prank.

In the video, a man who appeared to be drunk came out of the Administration Police (AP) canteen and was robbed of his bag by two others on a waiting bodaboda.

The fourth suspect arrested, who is 18 years old, was the cameraman.

Confirming the incident in his office, Kilifi North Sub-county Police Commander Kenneth Maina said police arrested the culprits after identifying them through a CCTV camera at the AP canteen.

“The viral video of a daylight robbery at the Kilifi Administration Police canteen in Kilifi was not real but a prank by a group of youths creating content for their TikTok account,” he said.

The youths were arrested at their homes in Kilifi, with the oldest being 27 years old.

Mr Maina said they were pursuing another suspect who was still at large.

He said the youths revealed that they wanted to attract followers to their TikTok account.

“There were five youths and we managed to arrest four of them and the other one we have a crucial lead that will lead us to an arrest,” he said.

The crew hired a bodaboda to ferry them around while they shot their video.

The sub-county police commander assured the public that Kilifi is safe and free from criminal activities.

“We have obtained the CCTV camera that showed how they planned to shoot the video. I want to reassure the public that there is no insecurity in Kilifi CBD and they should go about their daily business without fear,” he said.

Mr Maina said police had launched investigations even as they prepared to prosecute the culprits.

“We have started investigations but they will be charged with various offences including cybercrimes,” he said.

According to a police report, the Kilifi AP canteen manager, Mr Roy Otieno, said a stranger entered the canteen, approached a waiter who was cleaning and asked for permission to shoot a video inside the premises.

The waiter refused to allow the stranger to film, but he and his accomplices proceeded to stage the prank robbery.


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