Sniffer Dog

Missing in action: The secret life of sharpshooter Dafton Mwitiki

Using his bank account for ransom payments was his undoing… the marksman become a marked man

Marked man: Dafton Mwitiki during the Dusit Hotel terror attack in January 2019 and INSET: His ride was dumped in Juja, Kiambu County.

By Pascal Owade

Contributing Editor/Crime

Dafton Mwitiki, the missing sharpshooter was a businessman by day, the ‘Godfather’ at night. It is feared his disappearance is part mop up of a kidnapping ring starring rogue cops.

His family said he was rushing to deliver on a pressing business deal the night he went missing. They have searched for him in vain:  along thickets, in hospital wards, mortuaries and the dam in Juja around where his Land Rover Discovery was dumped over 10 days ago. 

Dafton came into the limelight when he appeared armed during the Dusit Hotel terror attack in January 2019. Besides running his tour company and restaurant in Kilimani Nairobi, the crack marksman also represented Kenya in shooting while dabbling in marketing the National Gun Owners Association of Kenya.

But multiple security sources offered that a concealed cell phone used in making ransom demands was unmasked as belonging to Mwitiki alongside bank account details for ransom money.  

The marksman, a licensed gun holder, become a marked man even though he had never been booked over the said crimes before.

The kidnapping gang included rogue Administration Police who had been impersonating officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) during their operations.

Four gang members including the rogue cops later spilled the beans, roasting Mwitiki as the ‘Godfather’

Beyond the Wild: Mwitiki ran his tour company for nine years besides his restaurant which he co-owns with a Chinese investor.

The gang was busted on February 29 and police pistol and bullets recovered during the rescue of a kidnapped Chinese businessman and Sh100 million demanded while he was being held at an estate in Dagoretti. Four gang members including the rogue cops fingered Mwitiki as the ring leader. They were later found slugged.  

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Before he disappeared, Mwitiki spoke to his wife, Betty Mutunga, and she recalled sensing no signs of distress, besides being agitated over a deal he was being rushed to deliver on. Then his phone, according to call logs, was switched off at Roysambu along the Thika Superhighway.  

Kenya has the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau which works with the Special Services Unit and its auxiliary arm, the ‘Sting Squad Headquarters’ in dealing with crime specific cases like armed robberies, motor vehicle theft and sale, distribution of contraband goods and kidnappings.   

The missing marksman’s  elder brother, Victor Mwitiki revealed that the family has been receiving calls from sympathizers but none from his friends or even possible kidnappers demanding ransom. 

  Mwitiki’s disturbed parents are now pleading that “whoever has our son, please release him to us” but now his search has turned into a macabre work in progress for the father of two said to have been the  happy-go-lucky life of a party.

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