Inside ‘mchele’ gang: Women, bars and tricks used

Some of the women that police say Samuel Mugo Mugota recruited to spike revellers’ drinks in clubs. 

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives are banking on the arrest of Dennis Karani Gachoki, the alleged key suspect in the killing of Samuel Mugo Mugota in Mirema, Roysambu neighbourhood, to open the lid into the slain man’s secret life.

The DCI on Friday declared Karani, from Kirinyaga County, a wanted man over the murder and asked the public to share information that could lead to his arrest.

Gachoki is also wanted for possessing a weapon that is suspected to have been snatched from a police officer at a popular joint in Mombasa two years ago. He is, however, feared to have fled to a neighbouring country following the killing of his master, Mugota. 

Mr Denis Karani Gachoki mirema murder muvota mugota

Mr Denis Karani Gachoki is pictured in a poster shared by the DCI. 

Photo credit: Pool

Detectives said they last traced Gachoki’s phone signals inside Burnt Forest, Uasin Gishu County. They also claimed Gachoki was an accomplice to Mugota, who hails from the neighbouring Embu County.

They suspect Gachoki could have been tipped off to escape by rogue police officers, who have been helping the two in their multi-million shilling syndicate.

Mugota is said to have lived a secret life, hiding his criminal activities and vast wealth from his multiple women and family members, as he made millions from swindling and robbing his targets.

He drove vehicles that could easily blend into society without appearing flashy, despite making millions from the illegal trade.

Preliminary investigations have shown that Samuel Mugo Mugota was driving a Honda CRV was obstructed by another motor vehicle, a white Toyota Premio after dropping the two at Mirema Springs apartments at around 4pm.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

His fleet of eight vehicles included a Toyota Fielder and Harrier, a Honda CRV, and a Nissan X-trail.

The same cannot, however, be said of his friend Gachoki, who loved having fun and living a flashy lifestyle.

Detectives believe there could be more hidden properties, besides those that are known, including three apartments and several massionettes in Kiambu, all of which they say are proceeds of crime.

Gachoki’s arrest could also open a lid on the extent to which his syndicate extends as detectives suspect the two men have been working with rogue police officers and banking officials to steal from unsuspecting Kenyans.

They two allegedly crossed paths recently following a dispute over the sharing of proceeds from their stupefying business, leading to the heinous murder that shocked the country by the manner and the time at which it happened. 

CCTV camera footage from a building adjacent to the crime scene shows the killer, dressed in a black jacket, jeans, a white T-shirt and a cap pacing between two buildings at around 13:56pm, waiting for his target to approach, before firing at him six times at close range.

The suspect dashed to a waiting silver Toyota Allion that sped off leaving residents of the estate in shock.

Mugota’s body was then found, with blood splattered all over his white shirt and beige trousers, the windshield of his vehicle, a gold Honda CRV, shattered and the engine still running.

Crime scene investigation officers from Kasarani Police Station recovered six 9mm spent cartridges, four mobile phones and Mugota’s personal effects, including several identity cards and a National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) card.

As his family prepares to bury him, the secret that was his life is gradually being revealed to the public by detectives who yesterday said they are hoping to find his accomplices and prosecute them for their criminal activities.

These include Gachoki and a bevy of women who were working for the two. According to detectives, Gachoki was the one who was carrying the weapon on behalf of the two men as a form of protection.

Kenyans were, however, quick to note that Gachoki’s images shared by the DCI did not match the man that appears on the CCTV footage of Mugota shooting.

Whereas Gachoki, as seen in the image, is well-built and more muscular, the killer as seen in the video is much slimmer.

“Two things; the shooter was thinner than the guy. Unless he was an accessory to the incident. The shooting stance of the guy in the photo, two hands on the gun, legs apart is not the shooting stance of a common thug. That’s obviously a pro…,” Lenard Bruce Mwale reacted to the DCI post on Facebook.

Some 12 women, who the two men, have allegedly been deploying to spike their targets drinks were identified by the police. They include Esther Wangari Ndungu, Florence Wanjiku Njoroge and Victoria Wanjiku Thuku, who had been arrested in the recent past as cases of stupefying hit alarming levels both in Kiambu and Nairobi counties. 

With the demise of their boss, operations at the “Pishori” empire have come to a standstill.

Detectives said most of the women are leaving Nairobi for their rural areas and watch how matters unfold in what the police believe is a move to evade justice.

The DCI has, however, issued a stern warning saying it will not be business as usual in the clubs that they have operated in.

These women were deployed to various high-end entertainment spots on Kiambu Road, Ruaka-Kamiti Road and Roysambu and Zimmerman to drug revellers. 

The joints include Club Switch in Kasarani, Whisky River on Kiambu Road, Red Lion in Ruaka, Oklahoma Choma Zone, Lacascada, Aroma, Backroom, Mkwanju, and Dragon.

Men, who have been drugged in the past, told the Nation that they lost valuables and were unable to follow up on the cases following frustrations by the police.

Mugota left behind at least seven wives and several children, according to the police.

The Nation learnt that one of the reasons why it was hard to pin the syndicate down was their use of bank accounts swindled from unsuspecting young men who were being duped to open them as prerequisite for getting government jobs.

After trailing the accounts the stolen money had been transferred to, detectives would end up arresting innocent persons, including university students whose bank accounts may have never held huge deposits.

Additional reporting by Mary Wambui, [email protected].