The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is warning young girls notably Form Four leavers of the dangers of dating/visiting strangers they meet online.
In one incident 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 being invited to Mombasa by a man she has 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 bus fare amounting to KSh1,500, but the girl only had KSh500.
Along the way, the conductor got suspicious on 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.
However, after a phone conversation with the said brother, he promised to settle the balance before they reached Mtito a Ndei, a promise that was not honored. 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 a 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.
In a quest to live up to 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 4:30pm, but the man didn’t show up until later in the evening at 8pm. 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 bus conductor has said that this is not the first time such case are occurring in the area. In a different case, 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 have launched a man hunt operations to smoke out the suspects.