Teacher arrested in kidnapping hoax

July 12, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – A primary school teacher who was allegedly kidnapped last week has been arrested by police after it was discovered that her entire story was a hoax.

Maureen Achieng Odera, 24, a teacher in Garissa was arrested by Flying Squad officers who have been tracking her down since last week when her father reported that she had been abducted in Nairobi alongside two men

She was found in Migori town where she has been making calls to her father and friends claiming she was in the hands of kidnappers.

"Maureen was arrested in Migori and we dispatched our officers to bring her here to Nairobi. She is being interrogated to help establish the whereabouts of people she has been colluding with," Nairobi Provincial Police Chief Njue Njagi said.

Police also arrested her father Joseph Odera who had earlier narrated his agony over the missing daughter in the media.

"The old man is also in our custody. Our officers are questioning him to establish the authenticity of his claims and the statements he has been giving over the alleged abduction," Mr Njagi added.

The Police Chief could not immediately state the kind of charges likely to be preferred against the two.

Sources however, indicated that the woman is likely to be charged with conspiracy to defraud by false pretence among other charges which include giving false information. If convicted, she could be jailed up to 10 years.

Last week Mr Odera told Capital News that he was involved in ransom negotiations with the ‘kidnappers’ who had initially demanded some Sh350,000 to release his daughter.

By Tuesday last week, the woman’s father said, the ransom demanded had scaled down to Sh50, 000.

"The offence committed here is very serious because the issue has caused panic all over the country. It is going to serve as an example to them and others doing it out there," a senior police officer at the Flying Squad department said.

As the story went the woman was kidnapped on Nairobi’s Jogoo Road while in the company of her boyfriend and a Nigerian man they had gone to pick at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Her father told Capital News that her daughter had arrived in Nairobi from Garissa on the night of 3rd July and was supposed to take a bus to Kisii.

But she called him on phone to say she wanted to sleep at a friend’s house before proceeding to Kisii the following day.

"I did not object because she is a grown up. Later, I received a telephone call from her saying she had been abducted alongside two other people," Mr Otieno said in an earlier interview.



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