Kidnappers free 4yr old lad unharmed

March 24, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – The four-year-old boy who was kidnapped last Thursday while on his way home from school has been found, unharmed.

Details have now emerged that the kidnappers abandoned the boy in a taxi in Westlands early Thursday morning.

Sources say the two male kidnappers left the boy with the taxi driver apparently to withdraw cash at an ATM machine but did not return.

The driver took the boy to Central Police Station after waiting for the men for over an hour.

Earlier, police had confirmed that the boy had been found but were cagey on revealing further details.

"All that I can say at this time is that he is safe back home with his family," Nairobi Provincial police boss Anthony Kibuchi told Capital News on phone.

He said the police were to hold a press briefing later in the day to give more details after consulting the boy\’s family.

The lad was abducted on Thursday near his home in Muthaiga when armed gangsters accosted his driver and commandeered the vehicle.

Police said the gang blocked the saloon car that was taking the youngster home from school near the Muthaiga roundabout, ordered the driver out and sped off with the car and the boy.

The car was later found abandoned on Lang\’ata Road after the driver was dumped in Gigiri.

The abductors contacted the family and placed an initial ransom demand of Sh50 million, threatening to harm the boy. Earlier this week, they lowered their demand to Sh5 million.

Police said on Thursday that no ransom was paid.

The Special Crimes Prevention Unit (SCPU) and the Flying Squad took lead roles in the search.

"The kidnappers never made contact with anyone until Saturday when they started calling the family (demanding ransom)," one police officer involved in the search said.

The officer added that they relied on signals from mobile phone operators to track the kidnappers.

Cases of kidnapping were rampant in the country three years ago but they radically reduced due to what Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere termed as a sustained crackdown on the hijackers using an elaborate intelligence network.

Up to 20 suspected kidnappers were shot dead during the crackdown which was mainly conducted in Nairobi, Central Province and parts of the Rift Valley.

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