Investigators found some exhumed bodies with missing organs in Kenya's starvation cult

They are currently investigating potential human organ trafficking ring in connection with ‘Shakahola Forest Massacre,’ police say in report submitted to court

Andrew Wasike  | 09.05.2023 - Update : 09.05.2023
Investigators found some exhumed bodies with missing organs in Kenya's starvation cult


Investigators in Kenya's "Shakahola Forest Massacre" have discovered that some bodies exhumed from an ultra-religious starvation cult had missing organs, a new twist in the case of over 100 bodies recovered in less than a month along the coastal town of Malindi.

Kenyan police informed the Milimani Law Court in the capital Nairobi on Monday that they are currently investigating a potential human organ trafficking ring in connection with the starvation cult deaths.

According to an affidavit submitted to the court by Martin Munene, an officer with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the postmortem report of several bodies revealed that some of those exhumed from the site lacked certain organs.

"It is believed that the trade in human body organs has been well-coordinated, involving several players," the report said.

The new court documents suggest that the organs were removed before the victims were buried in mass graves.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki announced at a media briefing in Nairobi on Tuesday the resumption of exhumations in the deaths of cult members in Kilifi County, describing the recoveries of 109 bodies as a highly organized crime.

The mass graves are too many, he said, adding that "20 mass graves are currently being opened, and the process is far from over."

The remains unearthed from the property belonging to cult leader Paul Mackenzie are said to be those of his followers who were coerced into starving themselves and their relatives in order to meet Jesus.

In April 2023, a man contacted the police after his wife and daughter left Nairobi to join Mackenzie's remote commune in Kilifi County and did not return.

When police entered the community to investigate, they discovered emaciated people and shallow graves, most of the bodies exhumed are those of children.

The shocking discovery of the mass graves prompted police to further investigate the cult's activities, leading to the possibility of organ trafficking.

According to the Red Cross in Kenya, hundreds of people are still missing.

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