How ice cream seller and taxi driver plotted fake kidnap to mint cash

Kidnapped man in a dark room [File]

An ice cream seller and a taxi driver who went partying after faking a kidnap in Nairobi's Embakasi have been arrested.

Detectives from the Nairobi area Criminal Intelligence Bureau arrested the 24-year-old taxi driver and the 26-year-old woman at a lodge in Sagana, where they went after receiving Sh50,000 sent by the woman's father and husband.

Also arrested, but later released, was a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology and Agriculture, who was found with the two.

The student, who police believe was a girlfriend of the taxi driver, was released after investigations revealed she was not linked to the businesswoman's fake kidnap.

Last Friday, the woman called her husband, sounding distressed, and informed him that she had been abducted by unknown people while at her ice cream shop in Embakasi.

A male caller spoke to the woman's husband, Brian Mutuku, on phone and demanded Sh200,000 ransom.

That same evening police circulated details of the vehicle the said abductors were reported to have been using.

The vehicle was flagged down by officers along Nairobi's Eastern bypass at about 9pm, according to police sources. But the driver told the officers he was taking the passenger to hospital.

Police investigations have since established that the so-called sick passenger was the businesswoman, who had been reported missing earlier on.

The alleged kidnapper, who detectives have established to have been the same man found in the lodge with the woman, had warned that he would kill her if the money was not sent within 24 hours.

Mutuku had, on September 17, reported to the Embakasi Police Station that his wife had been abducted by unknown people, who were demanding a ransom.

He was joined at the station by his father-in-law, who had also received ransom calls from the alleged kidnapper.

Detectives from Embakasi advised Mutuku and his father-in-law not to send money to the abductors.

However, incessant calls from the "abducted woman" and her "captors" saw the two send Sh57,000 to secure the release of their loved one.

Police investigations have now revealed that the woman and the taxi driver had hatched a plot to get money from Mutuku and the woman's father.

They used this money to party in Malaa area and eventually in Sagana, where they were nabbed by detectives on Wednesday evening, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti said on Twitter yesterday.

Embakasi police boss John Nyamu said they were considering pressing criminal charges against the businesswoman and the taxi driver.

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