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BY DCI.

Sexual predators have devised new tricks of abducting teenage girls, in a new trend targeting school-going girls and those who have just completed their secondary school education. The predators prey on the young girls through their social media accounts, where they obtain their personal information before they lure them into their trap.

In one such case reported by a bus conductor working for Executive Bus company that plies the Nairobi-Mombasa route, a teenage girl who boarded his bus at Machakos junction, almost fell victim after she was invited to Mombasa by a man she had never met before. After boarding the bus, the girl lied to the conductor that she was headed to the coast, to meet her brother who stays in Mariakani. The bus conductor then asked her to pay her bus fare amounting to Sh 1,500 but the girl only had 500 shillings. However, after a phone conversation with the said brother, she promised to settle the balance before they reached Mtito a Ndei, a promise that was not honored.

Along the way, the conductor got suspicious of the true identity of the person the teenager was going to meet and whether that person was truly her brother. Therefore, upon reaching Samburu, the conductor called the man and tricked him that they had arrived in Mariakani. He asked him to come at the bus stop and pick the girl as he settled the balance, but the man told him to send the girl to Kaloleni by motorbike, where she would meet him then he would settle the balance.

Fearing for the young girl’s safety and tired of being taken on a wild-goose chase, the conductor decided to go with the girl to Mombasa, where her safety was assured. Luckily, seated next to the girl was a pastor who was also headed to Mombasa. And in a quest to live upto his calling of taking care of the Lord’s flock, the clergyman prevailed upon the girl to disclose the true identity of the person she was going to meet. It is then that the girl intimated that the man was not her brother but a stranger whom they had only established contact through facebook.

The bus finally arrived in Mombasa at around 4:30 pm, but the man didn’t show up until later at 8 pm. What followed shocked the staff of executive bus services, when the teenager said that the man who had come to pick her up was not the man she had been chatting with, adding that he did not resemble the person appearing on the Facebook page. The bus company provided accommodation for the teenager and a bus ride back to Machakos junction, where she had boarded their bus the previous day.

The conductor who shared this information intimated that such cases were rampant, and even cited another case where a 17-year old girl who had just sat her KCSE, boarded their bus at Matuu and alighted at Mombasa to meet a man she didn’t know, only a day after the previous incident.

Detectives from the Anti Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit are currently pursuing the suspects. Meanwhile, parents are advised to monitor their children’s online activities and the people they socialise with, since cases of young girls being abducted for slavery and sexual exploitation are on the rise.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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