Tagged in: Kenya History

In McMillan’s Underbelly: The Quest for Kenya’s History

[This piece was originally published on the Medium Blog here.] 

I hadn’t planned to spend my entire afternoon like this. At least not at first. I was in town, with a few hours to kill and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I always know, but I never get round to doing it. Instead of window shopping or sitting in a cafe trying to figure out whether the man next to me is just fidgety or is busy masturbating. (This happened once, in Java Capital Centre).

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Was this the most bizarre bank heist in Kenya’s History?

In July-August 1999, Mashreq Bank at the imposing ICEA building on Kenyatta Avenue was robbed twice.

The first time was on July 1, 1999 when robbers stormed the branch at midday and made away with 0.5 million bob. The second time was on the morning of August 17, 1999. This time the six robbers took their time and robbed the bank of KShs. 9 million bob-or 7.5 million, depending on whether you believe the bank or the police.

But that is the boring part of the story. Continue reading…