(Continued from Married to a Gangster II)
“That man Kirima knows something about this mess,” Corporal Sanya tells the Inspector. “But I can bet my last coin that the wife doesn’t; unless she is a very good actor.”
“Melody wasn’t being entirely truthful. I got a feeling that she wasn’t telling us everything. But yeah, I don’t think she is involved in the cartel. I suspect the men who kidnapped her told her something that she feels will incriminate her husband.”
“But that is obstruction of justice. Why don’t you arrest her?”
Inspector Mwacha smiles at his younger colleague. He is only 29 but he has already been with the DCI for ten years, and that makes him feel like a veteran. The corporal is 22, and has been in the directorate for only three years. He was promoted from constable to corporal a couple of months ago, and the fire in his belly is still fierce.
“Melody Kirima is likely to be our biggest witness in this case. We do not want to antagonize her by arresting her unnecessarily. What she learned might have shocked her, but she will come around, especially when she learns the truth about her husband. I think she already suspects it.”
“Her husband is the leader of the Whiteforce. Donald knows that I know who he is, but he also knows that I cannot prove it.”
“How do you know all this?”
“Last year I managed to secure the cooperation of one of Donald’s ex-girlfriends, who had also been a member of the gang. She was disgruntled because the men were cutting her off from operations, and then threatening her whenever she demanded to be treated fairly. But what really made her come to us was an attempt at her life. Someone tried to kill her, and she came to us, her logic being that prison would be better than the grave. She was going to be our biggest chance at dismantling Whiteforce.”
“Then they killed her. I remember the case now. She is the girl who was killed in police custody, isn’t?”
“Yes. Her death haunts me to date. I am the one who convinced her to work for us. Yet at the end of the day I could not protect her from the cartel. The day that girl was killed the battle against Whiteforce became personal for me. Mark my words, Sanya: sooner or later I will nail Kirima and his gang.”
Donald is seething with anger. Rufus has gone too far this time. How dare he touch his family? Donald knows that Rufus has always wanted to overthrow him as the leader of Whiteforce. The man is greedy and ungrateful. The man is not even a founder member of Whiteforce. Donald plucked him from his lousy teaching job at the university and made him a multi-millionaire. But now he thinks they should be equals. The man needs to be cut to size.
Donald studied Computer Science at JKUAT, and he quickly discovered that he was a wizard when it came to coding. He did not pay any fees at JKUAT from his second year to the end. He simply breached the university’s system and credited his account. He did not tell anyone. He knew that many wizards fell because of vanity: the need to show off. The university did not even notice that there was a shortfall in terms of fees, because thirty thousand shillings a year is nothing to an institution controlling billions of shillings. But he knew if he involved his friends, some clever soul at accounts would flag the discrepancies.
Donald could have breached the university portal and credited himself with exam scores, but he did not bother. He actually sat for the exams and aced them. He was top of his class by far, and he was hired by the university as a systems administrator. That is when he started stealing from banks. He started with little money from small Saccos and microfinance banks whose systems were weak. His first theft was two hundred thousand shillings from a small deposit taking microfinance bank. For two thousand shillings, he bought an ID card of a street boy in Nairobi. The kid did not even ask him what he wanted the ID for.
Donald created an account at the Sacco with the kid’s ID, and credited him with a loan of two hundred thousand shillings. He (Donald) withdrew the money from an ATM in Wangige over the course of one week. The “ATM card” he used to withdraw the money was an expired card from another bank, but he configured the ATM machine’s settings to accept it. The deception did not end there. He went to his own Sacco and took a loan of three hundred thousand shillings. He found a plot in Kitengela that was selling for four hundred thousand shillings. He convinced the seller to take three hundred thousand shillings officially-in the sale agreement and though the bank-and take a hundred thousand cash. He also gave the seller cash money to pay stamp duty and the lawyer. It was his first experience in money laundering. When fraudulent loan was defaulted, Sacco could not trace their “client”. Heads rolled and people were sacked. But nobody could explain how they gave a loan to a glue-inhaling street-kid without any savings in the microfinance.”
Donald’s next theft followed the same script, but he stole more. He stole a million. By then he had completed paying his first loan and he took another. This time he borrowed a million and a half. He added the money he stole to the money he borrowed and used it to build a home in Kitengela. It cost him two million shillings to build the house, although he claimed it cost him one million. He used half a million to buy his first car, a second hand Toyota Corolla.
Donald sold the Kitengela house five years ago for ten million, and used the money to buy land in Kiambu and build the mansion he and his family currently live him. It cost him fifteen million to purchase the Kiambu land and build the house, but all the paperwork points at ten million.
Donald left employment years ago. He has perfected the art of using borrowed money to launder stolen money, and in the process has built a multi-billion business.
Donald built Whiteforce out of necessity. As his thefts became more and more audacious, they also became more and more complex. Like any other enterprise, it was time to scale. The first person he recruited was a small time criminal called Reece, whose job was to buy the IDs from destitute people. Reece was an ex-cop who had fallen on hard times after retirement, but he was totally dependable.
The next people he hired were ex-military thugs. These were smart men, both who had left the military under controversial circumstances, and who had then become conmen. Donald taught them a better way to defraud: with less risk of getting caught and more returns. These two men have been very loyal to him, but they are the men who kidnapped Melody. One of them is dead, but the other managed to escape. The third man, the one in ICU, joined Whiteforce later from the DCI’s Banking Fraud Investigation Unit. He has become a millionaire ever since he left civil service. The fact that Rufus managed to turn these men against him fills Donald with rage.
Rufus is a university professor and was a besieged principal of a university college when Donald found him. The man had been scamming the college for years, before auditors caught up with him. Donald offered to assist him, the only condition being that he would join his team. The professor agreed. Donald credited the college’s accounts with money from multiple sources, all backdated, and deleted all transactions linked to the professor to fraud. Auditors and investigators were confounded by the development, and they couldn’t explain what had happened. Under pressure from Rufus’ lawyers, the prosecution dropped the case against Rufus and the professor officially joined Whiteforce.
Donald made Rufus is deputy leader, and that is probably the worst mistake he made in this entire saga. Donald knows that he has to deal decisively with Rufus, but he also knows that he needs to neutralize Inspector Mwacha. Donald saw the cop dropping his card into Melody’s handbag. Donald knows that the inspector wants to play on Melody’s emotions and use her as a bait to crack Whiteforce.
It’s unlikely to happen because Melody knows nothing, but Donald decides that it is time for the Inspector to exit the scene. The man has been a pain for way too long. The Inspector thinks he is clever, but Donald is always one step ahead. For instance, the Inspector’s girlfriend of five months is a member of Whiteforce. Her job has been to find out what the Inspector knows, so that Donald can stay on top of things. But Donald decides to pull the plug on that operation. He makes the one phone call that will destroy the man.
Tomorrow morning the Inspector’s lifeless body will be found in his house. Everyone will know that he was poisoned by his girlfriend, but they will never find the girl. She has been using a fake name, and by the time investigations begin, she will be in Uganda with another fake name and passport. Donald’s connections at the Immigration department will see to that.
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