Over 60 youths from four counties of the Coast region are being held at the Bungoma police station after being arrested under suspicious circumstances feared to be a radicalization mission at an estate within the town.
“Yesterday evening we got a tip-off from a resident of Wamulali village within Bungoma town over the presence of a big number of youths who had just come in the area but their whereabouts were not known hence we sent our police officers to raid their rooms in the morning to find out exactly what they do in that area,” said the AP commander.
Bungoma County Administration Police commander Paul Soi told journalists at his office that the 60 youths were identified to have come from the counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Malindi joined with 16 others from Western Kenya.
“Out of that of that number 60 of them came from Mombasa, Kwale, Malindi and Kilifi counties of the Coast region and 16 others coming from here in Western,” added Mr. Soi.
The commander said that police raided their rooms at the estate early today morning after they were tipped by residents over the instant influx of the youths in the village with their mission not clear.
The police chief further said that on interrogating them they claimed that they had come in the area as sales persons for a certain perfume and soap that they had come to sell in the area.
However, he noted that among them there were seven trainers of trainers who were also undertaking them through a training at their rooms that was not known and linked to the sales activities they had claimed to have come to do.
“They also had seven trainers who were also training them every morning as they also sung a certain song that is printed on a poster that we also recovered from them named JUICE SONG,” said the commander.
He said that they interpreted the word JUICE as ….Join Us In Creating Expansion which they sang while raising up their right hand with a clenched fist.
Soi said that police also got interested and have launched thorough investigations to establish what the youth were training for and what the song stood for bearing in mind that majority came from the Coast region where radicalization is a major concern among youth.
“We are also keen and investigating to establish if at all the training they are undergoing has anything to do with the sales of the perfume and spray or is just a cover-up as they embark on something else,” he said.
He further said that if it emerges that they are linked to any outlawed group or criminal gang then they will be arraigned in court to face charges.