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Revealed: Thika millionaire ‘faked his kidnapping’
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|Revealed: Thika millionaire ‘faked his kidnapping’ by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 09:24am|
When he went missing for 75 days, Thika millionaire Julius Gitau, 44, threw the business world in the region into anxiety.
Then he mysteriously reappeared, claiming he had been kidnapped.
But confidential police sources have told the Nation that Mr Gitau was never abducted and was all along holed up in his third wife’s house, nursing his financial stress and hiding from creditors who were out to either auction or repossess his property.The detectives on his case revealed that he had directed that his eight vehicles be moved to three locations — a petrol station, his third wife’s home, and the truck he had been driving before disappearing was taken to the Thika Police Station.
Spill the beans
The move was meant to rescue him from auctioneers, investigators say. The accomplices in the scheme are cited as his third wife, his personal driver, Mr Geoffrey Kuria, and his two brothers.But that information was concealed from his mother, Rosemary Wanjiru, on grounds that “she is very open to people and if reached by creditors and the media, would spill the beans.”
However, Ms Wanjiru yesterday dismissed the police narrative as “flawed and aimed to sanctify laziness that led to gangsters striking in broad daylight, seizing my son and proceeding to hold him for 75 days as police waited for him to be harmed and parade his body.”
Read: Police to review CCTV footage in probe on tycoon’s kidnap claim
She said Mr Gitau is well known to her “and I would instinctively tell when he is lying. He is telling the truth that he was kidnapped.”
“After his doctors rule him to be fit for the rigours of pursuing justice for the mental torture he underwent at the hands of his kidnappers, he will walk into Thika Police Station and record a statement to commit himself and prove wrong the police narrative.”
Kiambu Business Community chairman Alfred Wanyoike said Mr Gitau’s story is puzzling.
“I’m witness to the fact that if the kidnapping incident happened, then it was not in Thika town. We have gone through CCTV cameras review with the officers and I’m satisfied that the incident did not happen at the place it is claimed was the scene,” he said.
Efforts by the Nation to reach Mr Gitau through his phone proved futile. But his third wife, Nelly, told Nation: “Currently we are not in a position to engage, maybe later.”
Nevertheless, the alleged scheme only ended up damaging Mr Gitau more than it did him good.
He came out of his hiding to encounter a collapsed business enterprise that had catapulted him into the millionaires’ club, a disjointed polygamous family, debts and a risk of being arrested and charged for giving false information and spreading public fear and despondency.
His publicised disappearance also smoked out three other women who claimed to be his wives and wanted to be identified as beneficiaries to his estate estimated to be worth millions of shillings.
He was reported to have last been seen in his Gitau wa Mali General Merchandise Shop behind Thika main stage on September 21 and at 9.30am, left for the gym in his supplies truck.
The shop that was housed in Ruo Building has since been closed and the landlord has leased it to another trader after Gitau’s three wives and his mother failed to agree on who would run it in his absence, even as rent arrears piled up.
At 10 am, detectives said he called his driver, Mr Kuria, a nephew of Mr Gitau’s first wife, Lucy, advising him to go and collect the truck near Blue Post Hotel.
Inside was a suicide note indicating he had run out of hope and faith in life owing to financial pressure and was jumping into an unspecified river to die.
The handling of the case was led by Gatanga Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss John Kanda and his police boss, Peter Muchemi, who were all along unanimous that “this case does not have qualities of a criminal murder plot.”
After a grueling search, Mr Gitau resurfaced and claimed that he had been abducted by six men armed with an AK-47 in the heart of Thika town — outside Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) offices.
He claimed he was held hostage at Kamwangi village in Gatundu North where he was forced to work as a houseboy by people he could not identify.
Mr Gitau further claimed he was released by his abductors on December 5 at around 4pm, called his third wife from Gakoe trading centre using a boda boda’s phone and received Sh500, which he used to travel home, arriving at around 7pm.
A Standard Four dropout, Mr Gitau moved to Thika town as a hawker and worked hard to put up a general merchandise kiosk, opened three other kiosks and in 1998, opened the wholesale shop.
From these businesses he invested in real estate and farming, acquired transport fleets and invested in shares.
He also married Rachel Muthoni (a farmer) and Celina Nelly, a Thika based policewoman.
Thika West Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mr Mathioya Mbogo dismissed Mr Gitau’s narration of events.
“While he can graphically remember how he was kidnapped, ferried around even when he says he had been sedated by being forced to take a poisoned soft drink, also remembers the towns and villages he was being held, he cannot remember whether he authored the suicide note, which the DCI has since forensically confirmed was penned by him,” he said.
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