Police unmask terror group leader at heart of Nakuru drug dens
For over a decade, Dickson Macharia Waithera, 35, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle at the heart of Kivumbini estate in Nakuru Town East, boasting a successful career as a businessman.
Going by the street name Dico, he is a well-networked man and a role model to many youth who admire his lifestyle.
But unbeknown to many, Macharia has been a marked man by security agencies in Nakuru county over his links with the dreaded Confirm gang that terrorises residents.
For many years, Macharia lived under the shadow of his elder brother, Biggie, who according to police founded the gang in 2007, initially specialising in mobile money fraud.
Biggie was the undisputed, unitary force of the group, which later came to be known as Confirm Gang. When he died, the group disintegrated, giving way to other criminal outfits.
Before the death of his brother, Macharia was among the ringleaders known as ‘Royal Family’, who coordinated a narcotics network in the county — heroin, bhang and cocaine.
Prior to his arrest yesterday, Macharia had successfully evaded police since he had informers in the police service. But an overhaul left him vulnerable, with no ears and eyes on police movements.
He remained mysterious, even on social media, with his close associates revealing that he used to operate on pseudo accounts and was unreachable on phone, save for those who had his direct line.
Macharia was feared, as he was known to be the last remaining member of the Royal Family. A mention of his name to the police would lead to the ultimate price exacted by his close associates.
In the family, Macharia’s younger brother, only known as Musa, is also on police radar. He is said to be behind the influx of heroin, known as ‘mondo’, within the county. New drug barons are said to be finding it hard to survive in his field.
Macharia is said to have taken over his brother’s reigns and hired close to 200 youths to boost his drug business — which has lately turned violent, mainly using knives, machetes, toy guns and other weapons.
A number of police officers are allegedly in Macharia’s payroll. They feed him information on impending operations in exchange for huge amounts of kickbacks, through their cronies.
In his drug-web, Macharia, according to residents, would walk around protected by seven-to-ten youths, who also brief him on the goings-on.
“Dico was like El Chapo (Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman). He would walk as if he owned this area. Many of us did not want to cross his path. Many teenagers have dropped out of school saying they want to be like Dico,” said a resident.
Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo said the suspect will be arraigned in court soon. He was arrested after a tip off by the public, said Mwanzo, adding that police conducted a sting operation and arrested Macharia, who is believed to be the main leader of the gang. More suspects might soon be apprehended.
Mwanzo said that following the death of Biggie, the elder member of the Royal Family, Macharia continued the illegal businesses, holding a series of meetings at his home in Kivumbini.
“We have gathered information that the suspect normally hosts at least 200 youths in his home to give them drugs for distribution within the county. His network has really taken root,” said Mwanzo.
He linked the drug business to surging crime rates in the county, adding that they have begun operations to apprehend barons.
“Macharia has had a reliable intelligence network. He knows when police are looking for him. Only after a massive hunt were we able to arrest him,” added Mwanzo.
Items found in his possession include Sh5,535, a consignment of bhang worth over Sh300,000, opium, and a laptop which Mwanzo said would be analyzed forensically.
“We expect him to appear in court once we complete investigations. We will clean the streets of Nakuru to ensure they remain safe for all residents,” said Mwanzo.
Yesterday, the police boss revealed that the narcotics group was founded by Biggie who, while serving time at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, would guide his gang on a phone scam syndicate. They would then send enticing messages to the public following the introduction of mobile money, purporting them to be telecommunication giant Safaricom.
Recipients of the messages would thereafter receive calls from Biggie’s accomplices demanding refund of money allegedly sent to them by mistake.
“Many victims actually sent money to the crooks in good faith, believing they were refunding innocent people,” said Mwanzo.