Until Sunday, August 20, Michael Mwaniki, 23, was Nairobi’s most wanted criminal.
Known by his alias ‘Mwanii Sparta’, the Kayole Gaza gang leader was shot dead alongside one of his accomplices at his hideout in Witeithie, Kiambu County.
Until his death last Sunday, detectives had been trailing him and his gang for months.
According to the police, it was not an easy task to track him down because he was callous while executing his evil schemes.
Besides being ruthless, Mwaniki is said to have been crafty and would be quick to eliminate a competitor or anyone he suspected was spying for the authorities.
“Mwaniki at one point killed two colleagues for befriending his wife Claire, who has since been killed,” a senior officer who did not want to be named told the Capital FM News investigative team.
“It was not an easy task to get him. He has foot soldiers who would always alert him every time we would plan a raid,” the detective added.
Some of Mwaniki’s foot soldiers are police officers who benefitted from his proceeds of crime.
But how did police establish his whereabouts?
Reports indicate that detectives infiltrated the Gaza gang through an informer.
On Sunday morning, Mwaniki had contacted the gang’s ammunition supplier asking for a delivery later in the afternoon.
The supplier was the police informer as established by Capital FM News.
“As soon as our informer alerted us about his hideout and that they were to meet that afternoon, we prepared a team and we had hoped that he will be arrested together with the rest of the criminals. But we went there cautiously since they were armed,” the detective revealed.
At around 2 pm, the informer accompanied by a team of armed police officers in plain clothes arrived at Mwaniki’s hideout in Thika where they met ‘face to face’.
According to the detective, Mwaniki and one of his accomplices had gone to one of the residences to “smoke weed. They did not know who we were.”
Upon seeing suspicious faces in his ‘kingdom’, Mwaniki suspected something was wrong, removed his Ceska pistol and started firing at them.
“A fierce shootout ensued and in the process, both were killed…the Gaza leader was dead,” the detective narrated.
The Ceska pistol serial number was A879675, belonging to the army. Police officers also recovered 21 rounds of ammunition.
“They might have stolen from an army officer…” the officer said.
In the house, there were six others gang members who were armed with an AK-47, stolen from two police officers they had killed two days before within the same area. They managed to escape.
“We have profiled them…we know their names and a little bit of their history,” he said.
Hours after the raid, the police informer was killed.
“He made a huge mistake…he went back to them without informing us at an unknown location but still within Thika. They brutally killed him,” the officer said.
According to the police, the informer who had served a jail sentence before he was released, was tortured and strangled to death.
“Though he was not seen during the raid, they must have known that he was the one who spied on them.”
Officer Commanding Kayole Police Division (OCPD) Joseph Gichangi says the criminal gang still poses a major security challenge to the residents but “we have managed to dismantle the group.”
“We will not stop until the Gaza group is dismantled completely,” he said.
“We shall not allow them to have a comfort zone in Kayole.”
Additional Reporting by Capital FM News