An unlikely alliance is working to disrupt illegal gambling on the west side.

In early June, about 50 residents gathered at a community center in Maili to talk about getting tough on crime. Their concerns included illegal gambling rooms, drugs and gun violence.

In the room with them were Honolulu’s Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm, City Council member Andria Tupola and Maj. Mike Lambert, the HPD officer overseeing narcotics and vice.

Citizens stood and asked questions, lobbed accusations and voiced concerns. A man with a small teardrop tattooed below his right eye looked around and saw a few faces he knew patronized the game rooms under discussion.

Kincaid Olayan, better known as Mana, said, “I’m the founder of God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls, a ministry made up of ex-gang members, ex-shot-callers, ex-drug addicts and ex-homeless.” 

His group is among those trying to make his Ewa Beach neighborhood safer, he said.

Mana Olayan sing hymn God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls Bible study Ewa Beach praise
Kincaid “Mana” Olayan is facing felony charges for meth distribution. For the last two years he has run a Christian fellowship operating out of transitional housing for men released from prison. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

Olayan had caught wind that some people were trying to open a new game room in Ewa Beach.

Thanks to his old life, he knew who was in charge. “We were able to sit down with them,” he said. “I let them know, ‘This is our community and we protect our community.”

The game room shut down, he said. “Ewa Beach community — you can verify this, Lambert — there are no game rooms.” 

Lambert replied, “I think there’s only like one or two, but you’re right.”

Altogether Olayan has spent 26 of his 52 years in confinement for crimes ranging from armed robbery to drugs. But when he was jailed most recently and charged with conspiring to distribute meth, he says he came back to God.

Olayan now awaits trial, this year or next, for a federal felony. But in the past two years, he says he’s drawn in people with similar histories and shared his faith with the goal of keeping crime out of Ewa Beach.

Sometimes that involves using his old connections.

“I’m able to talk with them with respect,” Olayan said. “We’re humbly asking.”

He’s not looking to get anyone in trouble, he said. “Gambling has been around since Jesus’ day. You can’t stop it.”

The response, he said is “understanding.”

The Fellowship Of Bad Boys And Bad Girls

God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls meets on the balcony of a house in Ewa Beach every week.

This night men sang and played reggae on ukuleles, guitars and electric bass. Food for a potluck dinner — chicken, rice, butter mochi — piled up with each new arrival.

Olayan moved in here — a transitional home for clean and sober men coming out of prison — when he got out the last time in August 2021. He started the fellowship for Bible study here when his movements were still restricted to the balcony. He still wears an ankle monitor.

Mana Olayan Bible study group God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls banyan tree Ewa Beach gang members drug dealers hammer steak ankle monitor bracelet
Kincaid Olayan stands and turns to his Bible study group, God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls, beneath a tree that was previously the focal point of neighborhood drug activity. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

Olayan, in a “God Forgives” hat and a T-shirt, led a troop of about two dozen around the corner. 

Under a tree on a grass lot, he told a story: This very spot had been “infested” with drugs and troublemakers just six months ago. Then his crew set up a tent to minister to people.

He came to pound a small stake — inscribed with “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” — into the ground and claim it for Jesus, he explained.

Jodi Akau, a 65-year-old in a blue spangled hat and blue shirt, watched her protege.

Olayan had sought out Akau because she had been running citizens’ patrols for 17 years in and around the Kapolei homestead where she lives, while teaching others to do the same. Akau’s “ladies” she said, are in their 70s and 80s, and they patrol certain areas depending on crime statistics provided by HPD — typically well after midnight.

Oftentimes residents call them before HPD. “Bottom line is we’re the first responders,” Akau said.

The Neighborhood Security Watch in Kanehili closed up five drug houses and a game room, she said.

As Akau tells it, a dozen elderly women standing outside a suspected game room at 2 a.m., holding blue light sticks are enough to deter would-be gamblers and drug buyers. 

Back at the house fellowship, the music resumed and people sang along to Christian tunes.

Mana Olayan Bible study group sing hymn God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls Ewa Beach gang members drug dealers
Kincaid Olayan, at back with right hand raised, has tapped into his former connections to try to influence where game rooms operate. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

Moani Thomas, a tall and tattooed 39-year-old, sat at the back of the lanai, listening silently, his gaze lowered. This was his first time attending Olayan’s fellowship.

“I know Mana through our old life, from the street life,” he said. “He was definitely someone not to reckon with.”

Released from prison after 10 years just the week before, Thomas moved into the transitional home and found work as a fuel technician. He wasn’t certain how much he’d get involved with Olayan’s group.

For now, he was here to listen.


Growing up in Pearl City in the ’70s the church was present but not central to Olayan.

His dad, Leonard, ran a gambling ring near Kewalo Basin Harbor called the Net House, where fishermen came to fix their nets, but also to play craps. “My dad wasn’t about gold chains. He did it to put food on the table,” Olayan said. And with seven kids, there were mouths to feed. “I thought that being a gangster would make him happy,” he said.

Olayan’s older brother Gomard, better known as “Shorty,” had already taken to the lifestyle and by the time Olayan was 10, Shorty was in prison. Olayan took up work as his father’s watchman, standing outside the game room, scanning for the antennae on the unmarked cars of Honolulu’s vice squad. His dad paid him $40 for four hours, and he ironed the dollar bills.

The Net House was torn down when he was 17. The next year a misdemeanor for meth possession kicked off his long journey in and out of the legal system. When he was out again, he decided to rob a game room. Because gambling was illegal, he thought no one would prosecute him.

“That was exactly why I picked that spot,” he said.

Wrong move: At 24, he went to Halawa for armed robbery. He got out in 1999, and a year later he was put back in federal prison for 11 years for meth distribution.

Mana Olayan God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls Bible study Ewa Beach tattoo
Kincaid Olayan used to act as a child lookout for the gambling operations run by his father near Kewalo Basin Harbor. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

Olayan wasn’t much before prison, he said. No real connections, no influence.

“I was a crazy drug addict,” he said.

While incarcerated, he rose through the prison ranks to lead his own gangs, he said.

In 2016, he finished all his state and federal sentences. When he came out without parole or probation, he had no transitional services and he was on his own. A year later, his wife, living in Las Vegas, came to get him.

He started gambling in casinos, playing slots and craps. He got hooked and was still addicted to meth. 

In October 2020, Olayan was indicted with nine others for a meth distribution conspiracy which carries a minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. The indictment called him a “broker and facilitator” responsible for distributing the drug wholesale in Hawaii from his home in Nevada. He pleaded not guilty.

Olayan declined to discuss the ongoing case.

But in 2021 after being extradited to Hawaii and put in solitary confinement, he said he finally got clean for the first time in six years. He was feeling healthier and thinking more clearly. On the 62nd day, he was told he’d be released to a transitional house. He cried and thanked God, he said.

Game Room God Forgives Bad Boys Bad Girls Mana Olayan Reformed gang members substance abusers neighborhood citizen patrol Honolulu Police Department officers shut down house gambling game house illegal activities
God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls group, citizen patrol members and Honolulu Police Department officers in front of a Kapolei home they say hosted illegal activity but has been shut down. (Photo by Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

His trial was last scheduled for August, but his lawyer has sought to postpone it. God Forgives Bad Boys and Bad Girls featured in the lawyer’s request.

Around the time of his release, Olayan’s decades-long resentment of the police softened, when he met Pastor Allen Cardines Jr., a pastor with HPD’s local Community Policing Team.

Before that, in his eyes, HPD officers had just been the people responsible for killing his older brother.

Shorty had broken out of Oahu Community Correctional Center in 1989 with a pistol and an accomplice. The other man got away, but Shorty got his hands on an AK-47 and holed up in a friend’s apartment in Waipahu. Police fired tear gas into the apartment, sparking a fire. Shorty was found dead in the bathroom, the smoky air that asphyxiated him still hot.

In mid-June, Olayan met up at the Kapolei homesteads with a few HPD officers, more than a dozen citizen patrollers and his mentor Jodi Akau, who was on her home turf.

“This is where I did my first walk,” Olayan said. “All the guys I brought with me, they all tatted down from their face all the way down to their ankle.”

God Forgives Bad Boys Bad Girls Mana Olayan Honolulu Police Department Community Policing Team officers J. Shimotsu R. Montalbo Reformed gang members substance abusers citizen patrol Honolulu Police Department officers
Kincaid Olayan, left, with Honolulu Police Department Community Policing Team officers Jarrett Shimotsu and Roxanne Montalbo before their citizens patrol through a Kapolei neighborhood. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)

“We prayed for many years for the kanes to come out and join us,” Akau said. She wore a six-inch blue light stick on a string around her neck, a yellow T-shirt and a matching bedazzled hat.

“Auntie got it on lock already,” Olayan said.

He walked fast at the head of the pack, blowing his conch shell from time to time. He was still learning how to get a clear sound.

“It’s the cultural ethos,” he said. “It’s new for me this season.”

The troop arrived at a former drug and gambling house that is now boarded up — a win claimed by the Neighborhood Security Watch. (An older man on the patrol said the operation just moved to another street nearby.) 

“I don’t know about statistics,” said Vernon Kleinschmidt, a police officer with the area’s Community Policing Team.

“But the biggest advantage is you get to know your neighbors,” he said, referring to the walks. “When you get to know your neighbor, you tend to take care of them.”

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