Christopher Mwangi, a land broker, enjoyed a life of fame, wealth and women. What started as a genuine business of selling land turned into a scheme, with him defrauding unsuspecting victims into purchasing parcels at inflated prices.
His extravagant lifestyle, however, caught up with him when one deal went wrong, resulting in his arrest and seven-year jail term at Naivasha Prison.
In an interview with Njeraini Citu, Mwangi recalled how his career transformed into a life of crime. After working as a land broker for years, Mwangi had identified the loopholes in the process of acquiring title deeds.
He developed a strategy and hired a team to capitalise on the gaps and secure fake documents to claim ownership of land before selling it to unsuspecting victims at exaggerated prices.
A photo of Naivasha Prison in Nakuru County pictured on October 18, 2014.
“I knew the loopholes in the Ministry and how to get certain signatures for the plan to work,” he narrated.
In his youth, Mwangi believed that his current lifestyle was permanent, leading him to indulge in spending money on friends, women and alcohol.
His record with the police worsened with Mwangi remaining oblivious to the fact that the victims were presenting the forged documents as evidence.
“My record at the police grew. After defrauding several people, they would report the matter to the police including my photos and documents so the officers initiated investigations, looking for me.”
Nonetheless, Mwangi carried on with his activities, scouring for potential clients to defraud. In 2010, he got the opportunity to work with one who sought to purchase land in Kiambu.
He noted that the business went on as usual as he presented the available documents to convince the client that the transaction was genuine.
At first, the client seemed convinced but ended up carrying out his research at the Ministry of Lands to investigate whether the deal was legitimate.
“So the client got wind after doing research that the land being sold was not mine. They reported the matter to police and I was arrested and taken to Nyeri police station,” he explained.
Mwangi found himself ensnared by the consequences of his life in crime, a turn of events he had not foreseen.
“Several witnesses were lined up in court, and they positively identified me. I was charged with fraud and forgery, sentenced to seven years at Naivasha Medium Prison,” he disclosed.
Reflecting on his seven-year stint in prison, Mwangi emphasised that it was an experience he wouldn’t want to go through again.
After serving the term, Mwangi transformed his life and is now a pastor serving in a local church.
“I would caution people to try and look for an honest living and not look for shortcuts. Prison is not a place I would wish for anyone to go.”
A photo of Prison wardens at work in Kenya