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Kenya: How Suspected Kidnappers Were Seized From Their Nyandarua Hideout

Detectives who raided a resort in Nyandarua to seize a man and his lover, the suspected masterminds of the kidnapping of a businesswoman in Nairobi, seemed to have prior information that the two would check-in there.

The Sunday morning arrest of the suspects, believed to have been key in the abduction and torture of Kamukunji-based businesswoman Hafsa Mohamed Luqman, caught everyone unawares, including the management of the popular Crystal Hotel in Magumu, Kinangop Constituency.

Going by witness statements following the arrest of Mr Jackson Njogu, 24, and his girlfriend, Hafsa Abdiat, 21, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers seemed to have laid an ambush much earlier and observed the two as they got into the premises.

Strategically located

A manager at the hotel told Nation shortly after the two guests had checked-in at midnight that he received a phone call requesting to book a room at the hotel located at the strategic Magumu junction.

It is around the intersection of the roads connecting to Thika, Njabini, Nairobi and Nakuru and a short distance to the Narok town road.

“A man called my mobile phone, called me by my name and politely requested to have a room for a few hours. He said he was in the company of a girlfriend,” said Mr James Mwaura, the manager of the hotel that is about 25 kilometres from Naivasha Town.

While opening the main gate, Mr Mwaura was confronted by seven men, who stormed the hotel and walked to the room where the two suspects were sleeping.

He followed the men and recalled that one remained at the door, saying that some more visitors were on their way.

Forced door open

But when they got to the room where the two were, they forced the door open and arrested the suspects.

“There was minimal commotion and drama. Only the tenants in the adjacent rooms heard the commotion after the lady screamed. But the officers politely requested our customers to get back to their rooms assuring them all was well,” said Mr Mwaura.

Outside, the hotel manager said he found three Subaru cars with more men waiting. At this point, it was evident they were police officers.

The men were undercover teams from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, backed up by their Special Service Unit counterparts.

The two suspects are said to have been drinking in a bar in a bushy area along the Magumu-Thika road.

Mr Njogu was dressed in a jeans and a jacket, but he seemed to have had more clothes inside the jacket. The woman was in brown jeans and had covered her face with a leso when they arrived at around midnight.

No luggage

Mr Mwaura said the suspects did not have any luggage.

The choice of the hideout was strategic because strangers are unlikely to raise any attention.

“It’s a small but very busy market with lots of visitors, especially those trading at the busy Soko Mpya market located a short distance from the hotel. One would easily have mistaken the two for traders,” said Mr Reuben Waweru, a trader.

“It appears the police were aware of what they wanted and how to get it. I was in the hotel the previous night. I noticed two unfamiliar faces whom I dismissed as traders, but those must have been the detectives. They looked calm politely asking for their drinks which they barely touched,” said Mr Antony Karanja, a trader and a regular customer at the hotel.

Magumu Chief Mr John Karoki said he was also not aware of the raid and arrest of the suspects.

“We are shocked; I have heard of no commotion or drama that comes with such arrests. The detectives must have done their homework,” said the chief.

DCI tweet

On Sunday morning, the DCI tweeted about the arrest of the suspects.