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Police nab man behind spate of kidnappings

Police have arrested a man they believe is behind several kidnappings in Nairobi.

Masten Milimu Wanjala, 20, was nabbed in Shauri Moyo on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in connection with two missing children aged 13 and 12. Police say he has helped them recover the bodies of the two children.

“20-year-old Masten Milimu Wanjala, in a shocking revelation, admitted to having kidnapped the children and executed them in cold blood during interrogation he revealed to detectives that he executed the harmless children and dumped their bodies,” police said.

The suspect on Wednesday morning led detectives from Buru buru to where he had dumped the decomposing bodies of Charles Opindo Bala, 13 and Junior Mutuku Musyoki, 12.

“Wanjala, who is believed to have murdered over 10 minors, led detectives to the spot where he committed the beastly act and disposed of the bodies in Kabete,” police added.

Police added that the suspect had made demands to the families of the children after he contacted Musyoki’s mother Felista Wayua, demanding a ransom of Sh50,000 in exchange for her son’s freedom.

Opindo’s father Tony Opindo, whose son never returned home from Sagaret Primary School in Majengo, was asked to send Sh30,000 to buy his son’s freedom.

“Detectives are currently interrogating the suspect to establish the whereabouts of the other children he is believed to have kidnapped and executed.”

Nairobi police boss Augustine Nthumbi said they are yet to know the motive behind the incident.

He said police are investigating to establish if the suspect committed the murder alone.

“We are working hard to know if there were other players in this murder. We are investigating a murder incident,” he said.

Police officers from the Spring Valley took the children’s bodies to a Nairobi morgue, awaiting post-mortem.

At least 242 children aged 18 and below were reported missing between January and December 2020, the report by Missing Child Kenya said — 125 girls and 117 boys.

Some of them were found and reunited with their families, while others were taken to government shelters. A few were found dead while others are still missing.

“A total of 131 children were found and reunited with their families, 16 have recently been found, 10 were found dead while 18 are still missing,” the report said. From 2016 to 2020, a total of 780 children were reported missing. Of those, 496 were found and reunited with their loved ones, 73 were taken to government-run children’s homes, 21 were found dead and 190 were still missing.

The report comes a few weeks after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) cautioned parents to monitor how their children use social media and the people they interact with.

In a statement last month, the DCI alerted parents about human traffickers targeting young girls to sell as sex slaves: “Sex traffickers have come up with a new technique of kidnapping targeting teenage schoolgoing girls or those who have just completed their secondary education”.

“The crooks lure the young girls on social media where they access their personal details before enticing them into a trap,” the statement read.