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Mirema murder: Police unearth slain man’s notorious criminal syndicate

The man who died on Monday in a hail of bullets from an unidentified gunman along Mirema Drive in Nairobi has been described by detectives as a man who led a secretive and dark life.

The most startling information about Samuel Mugoh Muvota, 49, according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is that he led a mafia-like syndicate that specialised in ATM and SIM swapping.

According to the DCI, in the last 11 years, Mr Muvota had been arrested more than 30 times in fraud-related cases.

The DCI has further revealed that Mr Muvota had seven wives with whom he led a lavish from the proceeds of crime.

“He was a multi-millionaire with several real estate properties scattered across the city, a fleet of vehicles and seven wives all living lavishly from proceeds of stupefied patrons in clubs most frequented by revelers,” the DCI said in a statement.

However, the DCI said none of Mr Muvota’s wives knew he led a double life.

Following the shocking incident that was captured by CCTV cameras, detectives have been combining criminal database to dig up facts about the slain man. According to detectives, the findings have exposed a man whose dark life dates as far back as 2011 when he started stealing from victims at ATMs booths.

Detectives said he gradually graduated to a full-time criminal who hired well-groomed women as drink spiking agents in various high-end entertainment joints. At the time of his tragic death, Mr Muvota is reported to have employed 50 women into his criminal enterprise.

Detectives believe the deceased man made many enemies while engaging in his criminal activities that eventually led to his fatal shooting.

“Detectives suspect that one of the women he had employed or an accomplice must have given him in to criminals after a deal gone sour,” the DCI said.

Detective have further revealed how the deceased man used to hang around ATMs and would offer to assist customers who had difficulties withdrawing money from their accounts.

It is believed he used to work in cahoots with unscrupulous bank officials who would jam the teller machines once a client inserted his or her ATM card. The suspect would then insert the card and pretend that he was facing away before asking the client to key in their pin in order for them to first confirm the balance before withdrawing the money they wanted.

However, since the machines eject the ATM card first, he would get hold of the card as the unsuspecting client waited for the cash. At this point, Muvota would swap the card with another one and hand it to his unknowing victim.

Mr Muvota would later start making rounds in various ATM booths withdrawing the cash until the account was swept clean.

The DCI cited an incident in 2018 when Mr Muvota transferred Sh700,000 in a single transaction from an account of a woman he was assisting through Pesalink and left a balance of Sh700.

The woman had walked to the ATM booth to check whether a loan she had applied for at the bank had been deposited in her account when she met Mr Muvota who offered to assist her. It has emerged that when the woman was made aware of what had transpired she collapsed and died.

Economic crimes detectives also said that on several occasions Mr Muvota accessed clients’ accounts at city-based ATMs sweeping the accounts clean.