Flamboyant butcher who operates chain of eateries arrested over livestock theft

A flamboyant butcher, Peter Njenga alias Sonko, has been arrested by the police over livestock theft in Kenya.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations – DCI, in a statement on Saturday, said that the butcher who operates a chain of Nyama Choma eateries along the eastern bypass, was arrested after he was linked to the disappearance of livestock in nearby Machakos county.

“Peter Njenga alias Sonko was arrested after forensic investigations linked him to the raid of a Masai manyatta on December 16, last year in Athi River, Machakos county,” the statement reads.

“During the raid staged in the dead of the night, a herd of cattle valued at over Sh1 million was stolen and loaded into a waiting lorry.

“Detectives from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, together with Athi River based sleuths have since established that the cattle were driven to the Dagoretti slaughterhouse, where a ready market for livestock including stolen animals thrives. In some instances, the animals are slaughtered in the bush and ferried straight to popular meat joints in the city.

“The 41-year-old mastermind of the illegal trade that has left livestock keepers destitute, lives in opulence in Utawala, in the city’s outskirts. The suspect is an established butcher who operates nyama choma eateries, scattered across the city.

“They are located at strategic places along the eastern bypass in Utawala and Ruiru towns, where city residents and revelers frequent to enjoy mouth-watering nyama choma and other accompaniments.

“Expectedly, the suspect’s butcheries that offer a Kilogram of beef at a highly discounted price of Sh380, were a beehive of activity when detectives raided them last evening.

Maina’s arrest came after numerous complaints from Athi River based herders, following an increase in livestock disappearance over the past few months.

After being grilled since last night, the suspect has led detectives to his accomplices in the multi-million livestock theft industry. Among the arrested is the driver of the lorry that ferried the livestock David Gachora and the lorry’s owner Samuel Mwangi.

“After checking out Gachora’s details in our criminal database, detectives established that he has a history of ferrying stolen livestock and has a similar case pending at the Mavoko Law courts. More arrests to follow.”


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