Special security team formed to tackle Nakuru criminal gangs

Weapons that were recovered from a homestead following a past robbery in Nakuru. Security personnel have intensified a crackdown on gang activity in Nakuru Town. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Confirm gang, which has tentacles spread across various slums including Kivumbini, Lake View, Kwa Rhoda, Kaptembwa, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni, has been operating with impunity.

  • The gang was listed by former Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery as one of more than 90 outlawed gangs operating in Kenya.

  • It makes money through muggings, robberies and swindling cash via mobile money transfer services.

Security authorities in Nakuru have intensified a crackdown on criminal gangs that have been terrorising residents in the town's neighbourhoods.

The Nation has learnt that security personnel, through a new special team, are targeting members of re-emerging criminal gangs, including the outlawed Confirm gang, said to have spread tentacles in several estates in Nakuru’s slums.  

According to sources, the squad will be responsible for tracking down criminal gangs and destroying their cells.

"The special unit has already been assigned to carry out operations in places where the emerging gangs are believed to operate. The newly formed unit is made up of officers from the National Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations," said a senior police officer.

Police in the county have been grappling with gangs, among them Confirm, Gaza, Dragon and new ones like Eastlando and Msafi Kwanza, which have terrorised residents in various estates.

On Thursday, Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui issued a stern warning against the criminal outfits, saying outlawed groupings will not be tolerated.

"We have kicked off a major operation to weed out all the criminals. We will not tolerate resurgence of any criminal gang. Those involved will face the full force of law. We will deal with criminal elements ruthlessly. I urge residents to be candid and report any criminals to help police arrest them,” he said.

"We have already arrested over 50 members of outlawed groupings in Nakuru County in the past weeks. They have already been charged in court, and this will continue until we wipe them out of Nakuru," added the administrator.

Mr Mbui spoke on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting on validation of County Rapid Action Plan for preventing and countering violent extremism.

Easy money

The administrator called on the youth to avoid the lure of easy money through crime.

The crackdown comes weeks after two criminal gangs clashed at Nakuru's London estate, leading to the deaths of two gang members, one of whom was Ugandan.

Nakuru Town West Deputy Police Commander Charles Rono told the Nation that the two gangs, Eastlando and Msafi Kwanza, had clashed over territory.

He revealed that one faction accused the other of leaking information to the police, leading to arrests.

This is not the first time criminal gangs are clashing in Nakuru.

In July, two criminal gangs fought in Flamingo slum over territory, leading to the death of a 22-year-old man.

At least 20 suspects were arrested and charged in court in connection with the fracas.

The suspects were linked to the Confirm gang, which has been operating with impunity, terrorising residents in various slums in Nakuru.

The Confirm gang, has a presence in slums such as Kivumbini, Lake View, Kwa Rhoda, Kaptembwa, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni.

It was listed by former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery as one of the more than 90 outlawed gangs operating in Kenya.

Gang members engage in muggings, robberies and swindling money via mobile money transfer services.

A senior detective revealed that security officers have increased patrols in various parts of Nakuru town believed to be hideouts of the gang.

Residents say the dreaded gang, has mutated into a more dangerous outfit that enjoys the protection of some local politicians.

The members are usually idle, unemployed youth from the slums who are armed with machetes, metal bars, swords and sometimes guns, according to police sources.

Despite regular swoops and arrests of members of the group, it has kept on resurfacing. Gang members are aged between 13 and 30.

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