According to witnesses, one of the criminals boarded the matatu in Nairobi and pretended he was alighting at the Ihindu, along the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
However, what the other passengers and matatu crew did not know was that his accomplices waiting to ambush them.
The thug alighted from the vehicle and as the driver was removing luggage from the boot of the vehicle they pounced on him and forced a passenger who was seated at the front into the back.
The passengers told journalists that they were driven through deserted roads before they were abandoned in a forested area in Mai Mahiu.
According to the passengers, the thugs took turns robbing them of their valuables which included money and mobile phones. They were also forced to surrender cash they had in their mobile money accounts.
â€œThey forced us to use mobile applications to send money to their phone during the period they held us, hostage,â€ a witness quoted by the Nation recounted.
The passenger had hidden her phone inside the matatu and when the thugs left she called a friend who alerted police officers in Naivasha.
Police arrived at the scene and rescued the 11 passengers who were stranded and also launched a manhunt for the criminals.
The officers stated that they were following crucial leads, including pursuing a boda boda rider who led the hijackers through the secluded roads to the area the robbery occurred.
This comes barely three months after police launched a manhunt for a businessman suspected to be behind a spate of highway robberies along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu highway that targets goods on transit.
Naivasha police commander Samuel Waweru told the press that they had received crucial leads from a suspect in custody indicating that a trader whose identity was not revealed was behind the armed robberies.