NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 21- Away from the notion that kidnappings are only executed by criminals, a new report by the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC) has thrown a spanner in the works, and you may just need to be extra-careful.
While 89 per cent of kidnappers were strangers to the victims, the report has established that close people to targeted persons are deeply involved.
Of those interviewed in the report that covered 20 counties, 79.9pc were kidnapped by their acquaintances, 72pc by organised criminal and street gangs, 70 pc by their partners, 61pc by family members and 39pc by security agents.
“Kidnappers include family members (who engineer the process of kidnapping) romantic partners, security agents and strangers. They are mostly economically not well -to -do youthful Kenyan males,” reads the report.
Some male kidnappers “targeted their partners for love and sexual gratification. Others kidnap or abduct in order to marry their victims as is the case with some pastoralist communities which still practice early and forced marriages.”
Some kidnappers are domestic workers such as house helps who kidnap the young ones left under their care, gardeners and herds boys who kidnap their masters for extortion, ransom, revenge when employment-related conflict arises.
The report rates kidnapping as the top emerging security threat in the country.
Among rogue cops involved in the vice, the report reveals that 21 pc are still serving within the service followed rogue serving private security officers at 4.4 pc.
“From these findings, there is need by relevant oversight authorities to act and weed off the public and private security sectors of rogue serving security officers and provide surveillance mechanisms for former security agents to ensure they do not misuse their expertise to engage in crime generally and kidnapping in particular,” the report, which was presented to stakeholders on Wednesday by NCRC Principal Research Officer Vincent Opondo, recommends.
Parts of kidnapping involving security agents as established “is to eliminate those who are a threat to security. At times, they kidnap when thick a victim has useful information. They also collude with kidnappers.”
– Ways used to kidnap victims –
Perpetrators use force to kidnap majority of their targets at 43.7pc, others were enticed at 26.8 pc while 3.9pc was through domestic workers.
However, 0.4pc self-kidnapped themselves, either to get sympathy or political mileage.
The majority of victims according to the report were kidnapped while going home, when on duty or business premises and when closing business.
“Majority (92.1pc) of the respondents indicated victims were mostly kidnapped when going home,” the report indicated.
– Case Studies –
On June 8, police arrested a house help in Kariobangi South Civil Servants’ Estate for kidnapping and attempting to kill her employer’s nine-year-old child.
She pleaded guilty to charges after she was taken to court where she said her main purpose was to revenge after her employer fired her.
The case will be mentioned on June 28.
During party primaries, a number of politicians were also involved in ‘kidnappings’, though it was later established that some had faked it to gain mileage.
A case where police officers have been involved in kidnapping is that of lawyer Willie Kimani, his driver and client.
They were brutally killed and dumped in Ol Donyo Sabuk.