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New kingpin takes over lucrative 'mchele gang' business


Kanywaji lovers or those who eat away from home are once again at the mercy of 'mchele' gangs after a new leader took over the multimillion business.

The role fell vacant following the death of Samuel Mugo Mugota, who was gunned down along Mirema Drive in Nairobi on the afternoon of Monday, May 16, this year.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) explained that the late Mugo was not on good terms with his partners in the business.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that he had fallen out with some of his partners, who fled to a neighbouring country immediately after the murder. Detectives are hot on their trail," the DCI said on their social media pages.

And now a new boss has been slowly taking over the operation to feed his petrol stations, hardware and wholesale outlets scattered on the outskirts of Nairobi and in the Mt Kenya region.

The new kingpin of the trade is a flamboyant Nairobi businessman with interests in the timber trade. In the past, he was linked to the death of his wife in a love triangle.

One of the girls used to drug people said the new boss has also ensured an efficient supply of specific items to other businesses depending on market demands.

She said the syndicate involves rogue pharmacists supplying the stupefying drugs, informers who identify potential victims and traders who want cheap things to sell.

Others are rogue police officers who track potential victims or cover up cases whenever a victim reports them.

"There is a market for everything. The other items we collect, such as cars, are sold as spare parts at throw-away prices," she said.

In another twist, it has now emerged that the victims are not only men, with older monied women with a love for toyboys also falling victim.

Just like their male counterparts the women are also drugged, robbed and left for dead.

The drugs

Police say that the 'mchele' women use are drugs given to mentally unstable patients at Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nairobi.

They include Rohypnol, Ketamine, Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate, Diazepam, and Stilnox. Ketamine is also used to drug people, but its main purpose is as an anaesthetic for veterinary use.

The drugs are called 'mchele' or 'pishori' because they look like rice. "Mchele is categorised into four: Tamuu red, tamuu green, tamuu white, and tamuu blue," the DCI said.

One of the ladies we spoke to, who preferred we call her Jane for security reasons, said the groups meet on Kiambu Road or around Mirema Drive to plan how to execute their plans for the day.

Their new boss decides which outlets they can visit and at what time. This is after studying the habits of revellers, travellers and drivers believed to be potential targets.

The DCI said the late Mugo headed a team of 50 women, and our sources reveal that a number of them are now joining the new boss for protection and operation intelligence.

"In some cases, people are tracked, and you know the only people who (can do this) in this country," Jane said.

"To be in his business, you must have protection or else you might face the music."

The police said the drug is administered in doses... Our source said the 'Mchele' ladies operate under a powerful boss who has good intelligence on potential clients and can protect them against prosecution.

"We might be going after a truck driver so that they offload what he is carrying, a city reveller, a businessperson, and/or a rich villager who has sold his sugarcane or coffee somewhere," she said.

She said they are given Sh5000 for a one-day assignment. The amount includes salary and cash to allow them to order expensive drinks.

"It is a big business since everything collected from a victim has a ready market. And the market includes cartels running car spare parts, businesses, wholesales, hardware and petrol stations, among others," Jane said.

Investigations revealed that the group of ladies operate in groups. The boss dispatches them strategically to Nairobi, Mombasa, and neighbouring counties. Additional ladies are sent to the Kisumu-Mombasa Highway.

"The women are well trained and order expensive liquor to convince male patrons that they are just normal revellers having fun," the DCI said on its social media pages.

Petty crime

Many of our calls to the police bosses were not answered. Those who answered refused to comment, terming it a petty crime.

Our source said that immediately they sprinkle mchele their main agenda is to collect credit cards, mobile phones, and if possible cars for their bosses to sell.

"Our boss is not concerned with the cash and other small things like laptops and jewellery we collect, but wants the phone, cards, and cars if possible. Immediately we identify a potential victim, the logistics are put in place," she said.

"He also sends someone to bail us out when we are arrested and uses his police connections to 'kill' our cases."

The police said the most frequented clubs include a popular club in Kasarani, another one along Kiambu Road, and several clubs in Ruaka.

Others are clubs along Kamiti Road from Roysambu, 44, and Zimmerman.

"Men with high blood pressure would not wake up after the first dose," the police said.

"In case that trick failed to work, they would escort a man to his house and prepare coffee or scrambled eggs for the man to eat. Single men and eggs are inseparable."

"Interestingly, none of the men who reported being stupefied remembered being intimate with any of the women."

The police said the high-tech scammer is smart to leave no trail of transactions, by operating over 300 registered bank accounts, spread out across three leading banks."

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